Wave of Prayer

WEEKLY PRAYERS FROM JERUSALEM

Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem invites you to weekly Online Prayers. Join Zoom Meeting. Time: 06:00 PM (GMT +2) Jerusalem,  every week on Thursday.

Please write to prayer@sabeel.org to receive a weekly reminder of this event. 

Please use the following time converter to check the time https://www.thetimezoneconverter.com/

12 FEBRUARY 2024

The 14th of February marks for many Christians worldwide Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday symbolizes the first day of Lent and is traditionally observed with fasting and abstinence from meat and other animal products. Ash Wednesday derives its name from this practice, in which placement of ashes on the forehead is accompanied by the words, “for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Lent is a period of lament which ends with the great celebration of Easter.

Ÿ Crucified Christ, in this season of fasting and lament we are reminded of our mortality more than ever. As we fast, let us remember those starving in Gaza. As we place ashes on our foreheads, let us remember the Palestinians turned into dust by bombs. Lord, help us understand the message of Ash Wednesday which encourages not to be despaired from death, but to await the death of despair and suffering.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

Last week, a convoy of lorries waiting to bring food into the Gaza Strip was struck by Israeli fire, according to UNRWA director Thomas White. Moreover, OCHA reported that 66 percent of planned humanitarian missions to distribute food, water, or medical support were denied by Israeli authorities in January.

Ÿ Good God, we hold on to our faith that you hear the cries of the oppressed and see the evil actions of the oppressor. We pray that all in need in Gaza will receive their daily bread through the lorries carrying aid and the end of their oppression. We call all those perpetrating and enabling injustice to, “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 4th of February, Ibrahim Hashash, aged 4, was mauled by an Israeli military dog during an arrest operation in Balata refugee camp in Nablus. The dog was unleashed into the Hashash family’s home, viciously attacking Ibrahim, biting him repeatedly and leaving him severely injured.    

Ÿ God of protection, we pray for young Ibrahim Hashash as he is recovering in the hospital. Heal the wounds he sustained from the teeth of the Israeli occupation. Lord, save us from the brutality of colonialism as it bites all, young and old. Help us speak and act prophetically against the evil we see and bear witness to your love.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer   

Israel confirmed last week that its troops are pumping seawater into a network of tunnels in Gaza, a method, environmentalists say violates international law and cause dire long-term environmental consequences in Gaza. This raises questions about Israel’s plans to rescue the Israeli captives and adds to the lasting devastation of Gaza.

Ÿ Divine creator, Israel’s disregard for the consequences of their actions reveals their twisted intention. Your children and creation are victims to the sin of Israel’s military actions. Help us steward your good creation by resisting the sin of oppression and working for the redemption of all forms of life, human and ecological.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 18th of February, as a part of Voices From the Holy Land Online Film Salon Series, a webinar will be featured entitled “Oppression and Violence in the West Bank”. This webinar aims to reveal how Palestinians live under occupation in the West Bank, the plight of Palestinians families who have fled, the arguments of Israelis who want to empty Palestine through settler-colonialism, and what the international community might do to stop the violence. Omar Harami, the director of Sabeel, will be one of the keynote speakers.

Ÿ God of light, use the voices coming from Palestinians and their allies to reveal evil where it is hidden, educate where there are lies and misinformation, and speak life in times of death. Let us remember the words of the Apostle Paul, “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 7th of February, many Muslims around the world marked the Israʾ and Miʿraj, or the Night Journey, and Ascension of the Prophet Muhammad. Many Muslims believe that the night journey and ascension was a miraculous occurrence during which prophet Muhammad travelled from Makkah to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem before ascending to heaven, all in one night. This year the commemoration was somber as many worshipers were denied access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and police and settler violence in the old city are frequent.  

Ÿ God of love, we are angered and saddened that our Palestinian Muslim siblings are prevented from their right to worship, and at times harassed and attacked by settlers and Israeli police. Lord, you wept over Jerusalem, and we continue with that cry today as Jerusalem has become a city of intolerance and hate.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 


Ÿ We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Austria, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland
.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

5 FEBRUARY 2024

On the 30th of January, Israeli forces disguised as medical staff and civilians shot and killed three Palestinians who were allegedly connected to Hamas inside a hospital in the city of Jenin. The killings were carried out by undercover operatives while the men were sleeping at Ibn Sina Hospital according to statements issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Health and the Israeli army. Since the 7th of October, Jenin and other cities in the West Bank experience daily raids by Israel.

Ÿ Almighty God, places where the sick and wounded are cared for are sacred. We pray that the guns and death which follow the Israeli occupation stay away from the places where sick and wounded people are taken care of. Lord, what world do we live in where hospitals have become conflict zones? Lord, help us to diagnose the true source of oppression and treat it accordingly. Foster in us Holy anger against sin.    

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the same day the ICJ delivered its provisional ruling regarding the charges brought by South Africa against the state of Israel, UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) was plunged into crisis. This was due to Israel accusing 12 of UNRWA’s employees in Gaza of involvement in Hamas’ 7th of October attack. In response to these allegations, the United States, Britain, Germany, and other top donor countries suspended their funding to UNRWA. This suspension of funding threatens the “lifesaving” humanitarian assistance UNRWA provides in Gaza.  

Ÿ God of justice, we are frightened by the news that so many countries are suspending funds to UNRWA, an agency that so many Gazans depend on for aid. We remember the words of Christ who taught us that, everyone who sins is a slave to sin” (John 8:34). We pray for the liberation of those who decided to suspend their funds which so many lives depend on. We pray that oppressors repent of their sin, and begin working to restore justice in places where there has been none.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Gaza has been experiencing death, starvation, displacement, diseases, and horrific humanitarian collapse for more than 120 days. Over 27,000 people have died in Gaza since the 7th of October. The cold and rainy weather conditions have added to the nightmare millions are living through daily in Gaza.  Furthermore, as more time passes without a ceasefire, the certainty of the security of the Israeli hostages diminishes. An immediate ceasefire could save numerous lives.  

Ÿ God of the oppressed, bring an end to the suffering in Gaza. Preserve each Gazan life. Help us be agents of your kingdom. If you call us to be brave like Stephen, give us courage. If you call us to repent from our sins like Saul, open our eyes so that we repent. Give us faith which can move mountains and bring a ceasefire, despite the wishes of the empires of the world. Lord, may your will be done.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

Over the past two weeks, Israeli demonstrators gathered to stop aid lorries from entering Gaza at several crossings. Some of the protesters include family members of captives being held by Hamas and are demanding that their release come before any more humanitarian aid can cross. As a result, hundreds of lorries carrying lifesaving aid have been forced to turn around at the crossings and enter through Rafah, severely delaying life-saving aid.

 Ÿ God of life, we are seeing how vicious one can be when their enemy is dehumanized. Protect us from the desire for revenge and give us the wisdom to seek healing through the end of occupation, siege, massacres, starvation, hostages, and any other form oppression. Allow the lorries with humanitarian aid to enter Gaza swiftly, saving the thousands of desperate Gazans.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer     

For over 120 days, Palestinian medical workers, journalists, and rescue teams have been working under constant life threating situations and hellish conditions. At least 300 healthcare workers have been killed in Gaza, according to the UN. This is more than the total number of health worker deaths recorded across all countries in conflict last year, and in any single year since 2016. Furthermore, according to the government media in Gaza, at least 100 journalists have been killed since the 7th of October.

Ÿ Everlasting God, words cannot express how the medical workers, journalists, and rescue teams have showed acts of heroism. They are saints in medical and journalist uniforms, risking their lives for the sake of others. Lord, protect the remaining medical teams, journalists, and rescue teams who have not yet been killed. Illuminate how we, wherever we are and with the capabilities we have, can act with selfless love for those most in need.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

Since the 7th of October, the Sabeel staff have been working under difficult conditions. Some leave for work very early to pass through checkpoints and avoid violence from the Israeli army and settlers, others have faced threats, all are suffering mentally, spiritually, and at times physically due to the ongoing situation. We are in anguish for our people and specifically for our loved ones.

Ÿ God of hope, we thank you for each team member and volunteer at Sabeel. We pray that you keep us protected during these times as we work for the mission of Sabeel under difficult circumstances. Strengthen us when we are weak, provide us clarity and wisdom as we navigate uncertain and frightening times, and help us function as one body. May all our actions be motivated from love since “Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer               

Ÿ We join with World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Andorra, Italy, Malta, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, and Vatican City.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

29 January 2024

On Friday the 26th of January, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered its ruling on the emergency measures requested by South Africa in its genocide case against Israel. The court has ordered Israel to take measures to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza, to prevent and punish incitement to genocide in Gaza, to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, obliges Israel to take more measures to protect Palestinians, but has not ordered an immediate ceasefire.

• God of light, whilst there are split reactions regarding the ICJ’s ruling, Gaza is being bombed and millions are suffering. Lord, we pray for an increase of activism which calls for accountability concerning injustice and an immediate ceasefire. Let us remember the words of the Apostle Paul, “And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good” (2 Thessalonians 3:13).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Last week, 42-year-old Lara Tannous who worked as a pharmacist at a Jerusalem hospital died from her wounds sustained by a shooting nearly three weeks ago. Amar Mansour, aged 32, was also killed during the attack. The shooters have yet to be identified, however, local sources claim that the shooting was by Israeli settlers. The Palestinian Christian community is in mourning as Tannous was a beloved and admired figure in the community.

• God of love, we come before you saddened by the loss of Tannous and Mansour. We lift up their families who are mourning, and we pray that they may feel your love during these difficult times. Lord, whilst we have little hope that injustice will be accounted for, we lift up our grievances in lament that you shall hold all preparators and enablers of injustice accountable.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

In the past week, Khan Yunis has been a target of bombings and military operations. Many displaced Gazans who sought shelter in Khan Yunis were ordered to flee by the Israeli military, causing mass panic and adding to the hellish humanitarian conditions. Moreover, the Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis has been raided and bombed severely, causing 95% of the hospital staff to flee to Rafah, according to local sources. The complete extent of suffering in Khan Yunis is not yet known.     

• God of justice, we are shaken by the few reports that have come out from Khan Yunis. Whilst it seems you are absent from the people in Gaza, we hold on to our faith that, “The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed” (Psalm 106:3). Lord, take care of your children in Gaza who are suffering so terribly, and help us advocate their cause in our daily lives.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer   

On the 27th of January, marked the international day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. This day commemorates the victims of the Holocaust, which resulted in the genocide of one third of the Jewish people, along with countless members of other minorities by Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945.

• Almighty God, we lament the many lives lost in the Holocaust who were victims of supremacist and racist ideologies. Help us remember and recognize the sanctity of each human life, that all people are made in your image. We pray that genocide and hatred will be cease, and that love will triumph over evil. Never again means never again for anybody. Lord, we pray for an immediate ceasefire.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Friends of Sabeel North America participated on the 24th of January in an interfaith event for Gaza which focused on liberation, lament, and learning. Sabeel-Kairos UK were a part of several protests in different cities in the UK calling for ceasefire and a free Palestine. All our friends abroad have demonstrated a Christian voice for Palestine in their respective contexts.    

• Everlasting God, we thank you for the solidarity around the globe. We remember that “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern” (Proverbs 29:7). Lord, increase the activism around the globe of those who are righteously standing for justice for the Palestinian people and courageously exposing how the wicked are complicit in the suffering of so many.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer  

Last week, Churches around the world marked a week of ecumenical prayer for Christian unity. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is traditionally observed from the 18th to the 25th of January. In Palestine, the services occurred in the Church of the Resurrection, St. James Cathedral, Church of the Redeemer, St. George’s Cathedral, and other Churches sacred to various denominations.  

• God of inclusivity, we are encouraged to see the Churches praying with one another in the spirit of ecumenism. Lord, we pray for unity which is not rooted in the interests of preserving the institution’s legitimacy and life, but a unity which can raise the voice of those unheard and rejected. Let the Churches work together with God in our hope and commitment to confront injustice and oppression in all its forms.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

• We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Western Sahara, and Tunisia.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

22 JANUARY 2024

Last week, Gaza had a near-total telecommunications blackout, making it difficult for information to get out. The small amount of information which managed to reach outside of Gaza is horrifying. The death toll continues to rise, with hundreds dying every day. There is a rise of cases in Hepatitis A among Gaza’s population, and Israel is conducting attacks on the vicinity of the only remaining functioning Gaza hospital (Nasser hospital) in Khan Younis. The suffering in Gaza is unspeakable.    

• God of light, you dwell with those who are crucified by weapons, public policy and social indifference. We are not able to know the true extent of what our Palestinian siblings are going through in Gaza, but trust that you, O Lord, know intimately every single tear and cry. Hear the cry of the oppressed, deliver us from the many forms of oppression. Lord, we remember the words of the prophet Isaiah, “Help us Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow” (Isaiah 1:17).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Last week, Israel’s military intensified its drone strikes and ground incursions in the West Bank, killing many. Furthermore, more Palestinians in the West Bank are being shot by Israeli soldiers on the pretext of “security”. One disturbing case was that of the young Palestinian man, Mohammad Sayil, who was killed by Israeli forces when he went to open a barrier blocking a street in Beit Jala.

• God of love, it is hard to mourn while our suffering is increasing every day. We have been enduring continuous trauma for generations. We know that you see and feel the pains of oppression with us. Lord, comfort the bereaved families as they mourn their loss and help them with their needs. Help us with our selfishness and fear, may we not ask what will happen to us if we do not act, but what will happen to the oppressed if we remain complicit.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer                                  

History was made on Saturday the 13th of January with global protests for Palestine. Hundreds of thousands of protestors marched in Washington and London demanding an end to U.S. and UK weapons transfers to Israel, an immediate ceasefire, and a free Palestine. More than hundred days have passed since the 7th of October and the solidarity movement for Palestine has continued to show its support.

• Holy God, we sanctify your name when by our own life, by our own actions of solidarity, we help to build a more just world, cutting off access to violence and exploitation of others. We know, O Lord, that you are insulted when violence is done to any human being made in your image and likeness. We know, O Lord, that we worship you when human dignity is restored to the oppressed and the victims of violence. Let us worship you by working for justice for all Palestinians.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On January 7th, Israeli forces opened fire at a car whose driver had allegedly attempted a car ramming attack in a checkpoint northwest of Jerusalem. According to eyewitnesses, Israeli forces opened fire with no regard to the security of civilian life. One of the Israeli bullets killed four-year-old Ruqaya Jahalin, who was sitting in the backseat of a shared taxi.⁠ After Israeli ambulances took Ruqaya and her mother to the hospital, her body was withheld from her family by the Israeli military and was released on the 16th of January.

• God of protection, we ask you to show the family of Jahalin that you are a merciful God who will take care of their daughter who has passed away from their sight but not from your love. Lord, so many Palestinian families have lost children from the bullets of oppression. We hold on to our faith that you are a just judge who will execute your justice on all. Help us Lord, participate in your kingdom so that your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer   

In the past two months, Sevan Karakashian, Siham Rashid, Irene Khasho, and Anton Salameh joined the Sabeel team. All of them bring diverse and unique talents, experiences, and expertise which will aid the mission of Sabeel. The new staff will be leading new projects in addition to supporting existing ones. We are happy to see our team grow and excited to learn from the new team members.     

• God of peace, we know that fulfilling your mission is a collective effort which requires teamwork. You created us in your image and each of us are an essential part of your infinite mosaic. Lord, bless Irene, Anton, Siham, and Sevan as they begin their work with Sabeel. Protect them and guide them with your Holy Spirit. Let us remember the words of the book of Hebrews “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer  

On the 19th of January, Palestinian-Armenians in Jerusalem celebrated Christmas. While Armenians around the world celebrate Christmas on 6th of January, Armenians in the Holy Land are the only group to mark the holiday on the 18th and 19th of the month, according to the Julian calendar. Normally, on the eve of the 19th there are special church services and ceremonies which are conducted in the Church of the Nativity all night long until the next day. However, this year, due to the current situation in Gaza, there are limited displays of Christmas festivities.    

• Emmanuel, the third Christmas in Jerusalem showcases the beautiful and diverse mosaic of our holy city. Whilst this year Christmas is not celebrated with joy but in solidarity with all who are suffering in Palestine-Israel, we wish a revolutionary and meaningful Christmas to our Armenian siblings. May you provide the local community with the gift of resilience, justice, and protection as they struggle to defend their presence in the Holy Land.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

• We join the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Cyprus, Greece, Türkiye.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

15 JANUARY 2024

Last week, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) heard the arguments for and against the motion that Israel is committing genocide in its war on Gaza. South Africa filed the lawsuit in December, in a move welcomed by several countries amid a global chorus for a ceasefire in Gaza. Since the 7th of October, more than 23,000 Palestinians have been killed, with thousands more injured. The UN Chief has called Gaza a “graveyard for children”.

Ÿ God of truth, whilst we pray for truth to be exposed and international law to be implemented, we remember that true change requires moral and spiritual transformation. We pray for an increase of voices in all avenues, whether on the streets or in the ICJ, to call for an immediate ceasefire and holding injustice accountable. Lord, we are grateful for the beautiful solidarity of South Africa, who are showing us political love.        

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 12th of January, after the success of the “Emmanuel” play in Jerusalem and Ramallah, Sabeel in collaboration with Youth of Jesus Homeland, and a professional theater production team, held the play in Bethlehem. Around 300 people attended the play. This play, along with many other voices represents a contextual and meaningful understanding of Christ’s incarnation with the current reality in Palestine.

Ÿ Emmanuel, we thank your Holy Spirit who is working creatively to share messages of love, liberation, justice, and steadfastness. We know that you see the hard work of those who made these plays possible. May you reward them with an increase of creative resistance against structures of oppression, bearing true witness to the incarnated Christ who humbles rulers and lifts up the oppressed.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

During previous Israeli aggressions against Gaza, Israeli authorities refrained from demolitions in East Jerusalem to “ease tensions”. However, the pace of demolition by Israel against Palestinians has increased since October, with a 60% surge in demolished homes reported in 2023. Moreover, Israel has increased its demolitions of homes in unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Naqab desert.

Ÿ Loving God, our shelter through the storm, may those who are left with nothing, know that they are not forgotten. We ask for the provision of resources so that people’s needs are met. Lord, replace every demolished home with a new home in a liberated land. Lord, provide all Palestinians their daily bread and deliver us from evil.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 13th of January, a Sabeel project called Palaction launched their online campaign. In their online campaign Palaction held a 24hour campaign holding a platform for videos and influencers to share their message of solidarity and advocacy for an immediate ceasefire and the implementation of international law. Palaction seeks to be a global resource for engaging with and supporting the movement for justice in Palestine.

Ÿ God of justice, we remember the words of the Apostle Paul “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17). Lord, we believe that whoever and wherever people struggle for freedom through love, your spirit is there. Help us to realize your presence in the struggle for liberation. May Palaction be used as a vessel to express your love.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

After 100 days of war in Gaza, more than 10,000 children, or 1 percent of the total child population in Gaza have been killed, according to a new report by Save The Children. The report also details that Gazan children surviving Israeli aggressions are enduring unspeakable horrors, including life-altering injuries, burns, diseases, inadequate medical care, and losing family and loved ones.

Ÿ God of peace, you have created each of us in your image and likeness, you sustain us through your songs and melodies of life, even if some people deny this. Help us remember in our faith that every Gazan child who has died, has not passed away from your love. You are all merciful and will replace their pain and suffering with laughter and joy. Lord, as long as we live, the martyred children too will live, for they are now a part of us, as we remember them and bear witness to their loss.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Friends of Sabeel globally have been active in their efforts of advocating for justice in Palestine-Israel since the 7th of October. Friends of Sabeel are seen on the streets protesting, holding vigils, organizing petitions and statements, hosting webinars, helping, and fundraising events. This is an illustration of the power of friendship which is proven in dark times.

Ÿ God of the oppressed, we are thankful for the beautiful solidarity of our friends. We pray that you empower us as one human family to join hands in our struggle for liberation, justice, and peace in Palestine. Aid us in our teamwork and deepen our friendship, so that we become true agents for justice that empower the oppressed holistically. Lord, help us spread the work of Sabeel, promoting it’s vision and working for it’s mission.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer          

Ÿ We join the World Council of Churches for the countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayers

8 JANUARY 2024

In the final days of 2023, South Africa filed an application instituting proceedings against Israel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). South Africa alleges that Israel’s conduct since October 7th in Gaza violates its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. South Africa and Israel will deliver oral arguments in public hearings on January 11th and 12th regarding genocide charges before the ICJ.

• God the royal judge, we know that truth is the source of liberation and lies are the source of oppression. We pray that your holy light will be revealed at the hearings before the ICJ. In these overwhelming times, we pray for the gift of discernment by the Holy Spirit to help us possess wisdom and understanding. We have faith thatthe Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; it is he who will save us” (Isaiah 32:22).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 2nd of January, a drone attack hit a building in Beirut. This resulted in the killing of several senior Hamas leaders, including Saleh al-Arouri, a former leader of the Qassam Brigades and member of the political bureau of Hamas who coordinated the group’s military and political activities outside the Gaza Strip. This attack has caused great fear of further escalation in the current situation in Palestine-Israel and the wider Middle East.

• God of might, the actions of empires, structures, and other political powers have resulted in the loss of so many lives. We are fearful of what is to come since violence begets violence. Lord, we cry out to you for an immediate ceasefire to halt further lives being lost and for access to aid for those in need.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

In the closing week of 2023, Israeli settlers hung a “donkey’s head” on a grave in the Bab al-Rahma cemetery in the old city of Jerusalem. The Bab al-Rahma is an ancient Muslim cemetery that has been an endowment property for more than 1,400 years. It contains numerous graves of notable companions of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad and is considered sacred for many in Palestine and around the world. This marks another religious desecration of non-Jewish sites in Jerusalem in recent years.

Lord Christ, aid us in overcoming the sin of racism in individuals, communities, social and civil institutions, and structures of power. We pray for our Palestinian Muslim brothers and sisters in Jerusalem who face harassment and violence, especially in sacred sites. Move our hearts so that we may move our feet to action.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 7th of January, the Orthodox Christian world celebrated Christmas Day. Christmas Day is usually marked by Orthodox Christians as a day for feasting and enjoying the company of friends and family members. The Christmas meal usually includes meat and several types of pastries, breaking the long “Nativity Fast”. Furthermore, special liturgies and prayers are made in honor of Christ’s incarnation.

Emmanuel, as the Christian Orthodox world celebrates Christmas, let them center on the real and revolutionary message of Christmas. As gifts are given on Christmas, let us remember the words of Saint Nicholas, “The giver of every good and perfect gift has called upon us to mimic Gods giving, by grace, through faith, and this is not of ourselves.” Here in Palestine, we await the gift of liberation from oppression, justice from injustice, peace from war, life from death. Let us imitate God’s gift by giving all oppressed peoples around the world the gift of liberation.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Following the success of the “Emmauel” theater play in Jerusalem, Sabeel Jerusalem, Youth of Jesus’ Homeland Palestine (YJHP), and the theater production team, held another show in Ramallah. At least 700 people attended the play ranging from all walks of life. The play reflects creatively on the current situation while also focusing on the hope that “God is with us” in the birth of Christ.    

Emmanuel, God with us, we thank you for the efforts and leadership of those who attempt to contextualize the Christmas message to our current reality in Palestine. May the Holy Spirit inspire the attendees to be prophetic, courageous, to foster unity and resilience. May the message of hope and the call for justice be communicated in all spaces and methods, reaching all people and all places.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Currently, there are 8,800 Palestinians in Israeli jails, including 3,291 Palestinians detained without charges. The Israeli arrests were concentrated in the governorates of Jenin, Tulkarm, Nablus, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron, and Tubas. Furthermore, according to the Commission and the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), 23-year-old prisoner Abdul Rahman Al-Bahsh from Nablus has died due to severe torture in Megiddo prison. This marks the seventh Palestinian detainee to die in 12 weeks in Israeli prisons.

Merciful God, grant all Palestinians, incarcerated unjustly, deliverance, justice, and restoration of honor. Give hope and courage to them and their families in their times of suffering. Let the truth shine through the darkness of deception and may those responsible for their unjust incarceration be held accountable. Heal all oppressed and oppressors from the corruption of evil since everyone, although on various levels, suffers from sin, knowingly or not.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Iran, Iraq, and Syria.

Lord in your mercy…hear our prayer

1ST JANUARY 2024

On the 1st of January, the Gregorian calendar marked the arrival of the new year. It is customary to celebrate the new year by having parties and festivities, singing songs of joy, and creating “New Year Resolutions”. For Palestinians, 2023 has been the deadliest year of our modern history; nearly 22,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, 450 Palestinians in the West Bank, and thousands more injured. These numbers are expected to rise with every minute that passes. 2023 has been a year of death, displacement, famine, sickness, and trauma, adding another bloody chapter to Palestinian history.   

• Resurrected Christ, you know how terrible the year 2023 has been in Palestine-Israel. You have felt white phosphorus burn your skin and the immense grief of the wretched of the earth. As we enter the new year, help us rise from the ashes since “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23). Help us be more faithful servants for the year of 2024.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer  

It is now 87 days of massacres and death. Over 21,000 Palestinians have been killed and over 54,000 injured in Gaza which the head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Philippe Lazzarini, has described the situation as “hell on earth”. Many more lives are likely to die due to being trapped under the rubble, infected with diseases, starvation, and more. Gaza is now The world’s most dangerous place to be a child according to UNICEF Spokesperson James Elder. 

• God of life, every soul that has been killed in Gaza you have breathed into their nostrils the breath of life. As the situation is described as “hell on earth” may we be witnesses to your heavenly kingdom through our actions. Lord, equip us with your love to be agents of liberation, justice, and peace. May every soul that has perished and every tear shed bear witness to the evil of oppression and create in us a fierce fire to overcome evil with healing justice.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer      

In the early hours of the morning on the 27th of December, at least six Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli drone strike during a raid on the Nur Shams refugee camp. The six victims were reportedly young men between the ages of 16 and 29, who were standing and watching while the raid took place. After the attack, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) claimed that the Israeli military blocked ambulances from reaching the injured in the attack.

• God of the oppressed, promise those who mourn and who are oppressed that they will be comforted and redeemed. As we mourn the deaths and constant suffering Palestinians in the West Bank are facing, help us stand with assurance that your Holy Spirit will lead us to liberation, from chaos to order, from injustice to justice, and from invisibility to wholeness. May we enact your will on earth by ending systems of oppression here in Palestine and all over the world.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 24th of December, Christmas Eve, Israeli forces targeted the historic Deir Mimas Monastery in Lebanon, a revered site dating back to 1404 A.D. On the 26th of December, an anti-tank missile was fired at Israeli soldiers who were stationed next to a church compound in Iqrit, a Christian Palestinian village in northern Israel. This resulted in the injury of an 80-year-old civilian, caused damage to the Church, and injured several Israeli soldiers. The antitank missiles were reportedly fired from Hezbollah.  

Holy God, churches and other sanctuaries do not only witness to your love, but carry histories, cultures and meanings which surpass our understanding. We pray for all people injured by any aggression against Churches, Mosques, monasteries, and any other sanctuaries. We also lift up the precious lives who are sheltering in the remaining churches and mosques in Gaza. Lord, protect the living and dead stones of this land. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 28th of December, masked men numbering around 30 stormed the Armenian Quarter in the old city of Jerusalem. These men attacked the Armenian community and clergy by throwing rocks and other objects. Unfortunately, the Israeli police was late to intervene. This attack is one of several against the Armenian community in the last two months. These attacks are believed by the local Armenian community to be connected to the cancellation of the deal to acquire a plot of land in the Armenian neighborhood by Jewish investors.

God of power, we thank you for the brave individuals of the Armenian community and the “Save the ArQ (Armenian Quarter) movement” which seeks to defend and preserve Armenian presence in Jerusalem. We hold on to our faith that all corruption whether through land deals or violent attacks will be held accountable through your justice. We pray that the recent statement by the Save the ArQ movement will be heard like trumpets all across the world.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer  

Israeli media has reported last week that Benjamin Netanyahu is pushing for plans to implement “voluntary migration” of the Palestinians in Gaza to other countries. Netanyahu made the comment during a closed-door parliamentary session for his ruling Likud Party lawmakers. Danny Danon of the Likud Party said during the session that there are countries that raised this issue in return for payments.

• God of Mary and Martha, we are witnessing unspeakable evil and great fear of what is to come. The nightmare of 1948 is forever haunting us. Lord, help us resist and struggle the righteous fight for our people, for the oppressed, bearing true witness to our God, true witness to our native land.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

• We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the region of the wider Middle East.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayers

25 DECEMBER 2023

On the 25th of December, many celebrated Christmas day, the day the western church remembers the birth of Christ. Some people commemorate Christ’s incarnation by praying special liturgies and singing carols and songs of worship which focus on Christ’s birth. Others celebrate Christmas in a more secular manner, buying gifts and holding parties and festivities for the holiday season. However, here in Palestine, things are not normal. Due to the horrific scenes in Gaza and the West Bank, in Palestine, the birthplace of Christmas, we decline any form of joyous Christmas festivities, but stand in solidarity and in mourning with all suffering from injustice in our land.  

– Immanuel, while many in the world are celebrating in ignorance, unbothered by the suffering of so many, we Palestinians understand more than ever the true meaning of Christmas. We and other oppressed peoples understand that Christmas is not for those who arrogantly think they do not need God, but it is for those desperately yearning for your deliverance. The superficial, materialistic meaning of Christmas is stripped away by the suffering of our martyrs, and the true meaning of Immanuel is revealed. Christ, we thank you for becoming one of us. We await the day of your return.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

As of the 25th of December, Palestinian health officials report over 20,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza and over 53,000 have been injured since the 7th of October. The “safe” areas which Palestinians were told to flee to are now heavily bombarded, and a UN-backed report warns that more than half a million Palestinians in Gaza are facing catastrophic hunger and starvation. Indeed, everywhere in Gaza is unsafe. The trauma of this humanitarian crisis will affect generations to come.

– God of the oppressed, whilst our souls are heavy with the suffering in Gaza, haunting us day and night, we feel anything we do is wrong. Lord, help us not to become numb to the pain. We pray that you would use our pain to stir in us a zeal for acts of righteousness and steadfastness when we are faced with trials and tribulations. God, help us fathom that the number killed, injured, and displaced in Gaza are not statistics but humans created in your image. In your name, we call you to save the people of Gaza.       

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Since the 7th of October, at least 300 Palestinians in the West Bank have been killed by Israeli forces and settler attacks, many of them under the age of 25. Refugee camps in the West Bank suffer from raids by the Israeli military, putting all Palestinians in the area at risk. Moreover, the number of Palestinians incarcerated without trial or charge has soared, essentially making them hostages. Due to the lack of movement, the increase of settler and army violence, amongst other factors, The West Bank has suffered immense economic damage.

– God of the marginalized, we hold on to our faith that you see the suffering and the evil taking place in the West Bank. God, reveal yourself to our people and intervene in our lives both individually and collectively. Help us to have faith this Christmas as we meditate on the incarnation and utter Zechariah’s song, “rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days” (Luke 1:74-75). Lord, liberate us from the 75 years of settler colonialization.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer       

On the 22nd of December, Sabeel published a new issue of Cornerstone which contextualizes Advent and the Christmas message to our present reality in Palestine. The authors of the Cornerstone issue argue that the authentic message of the incarnation of Christ is one which demands repentance, revolution, courage, recognition to those unseen, and liberation to the oppressed. This interpretation rereads the Christmas story as an event which challenges colonialism in all its forms and empowers those who are the least of these in our societies.

– God who is and was and is to come, you are the true ruler of the earth and cosmos. Evil powers, structures, or individuals are an illusion in their own temporal might. We thank you for all the Palestinians who are witnessing to your Holy name this Christmas. Lord, help us as we attempt to carry our own crosses. Guide us in your wisdom and not in our own understanding. Let us remember your faithfulness to creation as you choose to be incarnated in the humblest of ways.     

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Week after week, amongst death and destruction, we are witnessing heroes in Gaza. This comes in the form of Gazan men running to sites just bombed to rescue people under the rubble, journalists documenting the atrocities in Gaza, medical workers working in extreme adverse conditions, and all those trying to cheer the children who are displaced. All are risking their lives to do God’s work, and many have lost loved ones and colleagues since the 7th of October.

– God of Sumud, the journalists, medical workers, and those working to alleviate the suffering in Gaza are showing the world what compassion, goodness, and resilience looks like through their actions. Protect the many saints in Gaza, known and unknown, and bless them. Lord, help us follow their examples within our own contexts so that our actions may lead to love and solidarity. Let us “…be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

The mass arrests and humiliation of Palestinians in Gaza by the Israeli military is continuing. Indeed, Israeli forces are forcibly arresting Palestinians under arbitrary allegations and taking them to unknown places. For the Palestinians who are reported to be in various prisons and military camps, it is reported that they endure harsh treatment, sexual violence, and at times, even death by torture.

– God of light, evildoers often wish to hide themselves, attempting to conceal their actions and the truth from the public. However, no darkness can overcome your light which illuminates the good and the evil in all people. Lord, let your light shine in the prisons and military camps so that all sin is accounted for and all unjust suffering is known. Lord, protect all those imprisoned or taken hostage unjustly. Liberate them and redeem their suffering. While the Palestinian prisoners are hidden from the public eye, they are not hidden from your love.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer.  

-We join the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Japan, North Korea, and South Korea.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayers

18 DECEMBER 2023

As the violence in Gaza continues to intensify, the colder weather and heavy rains have caused flooding, worsening the humanitarian crisis. UNRWA has stated that its shelters for internally displaced persons in the middle and southern areas of the Gaza strip are over nine times their capacity, hosting the 1.9 million internally displaced persons. Additionally, the spread of disease has increased, with health authorities documenting 360,000 cases of infectious diseases in shelters, including diarrhea, influenza, meningitis, hygiene related conditions such as lice, and 1,500 cases of intestinal disease are reported daily due to food shortages. 

Almighty God, we call to you in anguish over the sickness and suffering your people in Gaza are experiencing. How long, O Lord? We remember that you were born in the likeness of humans, and you know what it is to experience pain and bodily suffering. Bring healing to all who are sick and bring protection to all who seek shelter. Ultimately, we pray for a ceasefire and for lasting healing that will come only through your complete justice.  

Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayer. 

On the 16th of December, two Christian women, Nahida Anton and her daughter Samar Anton, were shot and killed by Israeli military snipers as they walked within the grounds of the Holy Family Parish in Gaza. Seven others were shot and injured as they tried to protect those sheltering inside the church compound. Earlier the same morning, a rocket fired from an Israeli tank targeted the Convent of the Sisters of Mother Teresa, damaging the building and displacing the 54 disabled persons who live there.  

Almighty God, we are distraught over the deaths of Nahida and Samar, and there are no words that can be said to express our grief and outrage. We trust that you are weeping now with the families of the martyrs, and we hold onto your words from Matthew, “blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Comfort the Christians in Gaza who continue to seek shelter in the Holy Family Parish and provide for all the disabled who were displaced by the attack on the Convent.  

Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayer.  

From the 11th-14th of December, the Israeli military conducted a raid in Jenin, leading to the reported deaths of 12 Palestinians, 34 injuries, and over one hundred arrests. Since the 7th of October, 271 Palestinians, including 69 children, have been killed in the West Bank, and more than 3,481 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank.  

Sovereign God, we pray that your comfort for the families of those killed would come in the form of true and lasting justice. In your power, bring an end to all violence. We trust that you are the source of all justice and goodness. We long to see you, “judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in faithfulness” (Psalm 96:13).  

Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayer.  

On the 12th of December, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution calling for a ceasefire. 153 members voted for the resolution, 23 abstained, including the UK, and 10 voted against, including the U.S. Although the General Assembly resolution shows an increase of international pressure for a ceasefire, the resolution is non-binding. This comes after the U.S. vetoed a UN Security Council Resolution for a ceasefire on December 8th, which if it had passed, could have been binding.  

God of all nations, as a majority of the international community are calling for an end to the violence, we lament that a few nations with a disproportionate amount of power are allowing the atrocities in Gaza to continue. May your Spirit guide these leaders to conviction and repentance and increase all global efforts to bring about a ceasefire. We pray with the prophet Isaiah, “Let the wicked forsake their ways, and the unrighteous their thoughts” (Isaiah 55:7).  

Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayer.  

Sunday, December 17th marked the third Sunday of Advent, when Christians light the third candle of “joy”. The winter solstice, the longest night of the year, also falls during this week. Many around the globe are using the holiday season to inspire creative activism in solidarity with Palestine, changing lyrics of popular Christmas songs to calls for a Ceasefire, but many others remain complicit or ignorant to the horrors that civilians in Gaza must endure this winter.  

Lord Christ, when you walked on this earth you proclaimed, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). This Advent, when joy feels so distant, we ask that your light pierce through the darkness of our suffering. As we approach the longest night of the year, we remember the long nights of waiting and watching that Gazans have endured now for over two months. We pray for your light to come in the form of deliverance from all violence and injustice. May our firm hope in this coming deliverance be the source of our joy.  

Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayer 

Despite the cancellation of normal Christmas festivities in Palestine, this Saturday, December 23rd, Sabeel Jerusalem is holding a Christmas play for the local community. The play is entitled “Emmanuel” and is meant to reflect on the current situation while also focusing on the hope that “God is with us” in the birth of Christ.  

Emmanuel, God with us, we thank you for how the arts can bring depth and beauty to our human experience, even into the somberness of this Christmas season. May this play provide a source of community and a sense of hope to all who will attend or take part in this event.  

Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayer  

On the 12th of December, the World Health Organization reiterated its call for the protection of health care and humanitarian assistance in Gaza. Overall, only 11 out of 36 hospitals in Gaza are partially functional, services and supplies are limited, and the two major hospitals in southern Gaza are operating at three times their bed capacity, while also sheltering thousands of internally displaced persons. 

Lord, we pray for the healthcare workers who continue healing and saving lives in impossible conditions. Honor their courage with your strength and provision. May governments quickly act in the way of justice to allow all necessary aid, supplies, and fuel to reach the few hospitals that remain in Gaza, so that no more lives may be lost.  

Lord, in your mercy…. hear our prayer 

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and the Mainland of China.  

Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayer 

11 DECEMBER 2023

Since the end of the temporary pause in fighting, the Israeli army has widened its attacks in southern and central Gaza, with some of the heaviest aggressions since the 7th of October. Many homes sheltering displaced Palestinians have been bombed, refugee camps have been hit, and more people have been internally displaced, bringing the total number of those displaced to over 1.8 million. The weather is becoming colder, food, humanitarian aid, and shelters remain scarce, and the population density where the displaced are seeking refuge is high. Humanitarian professionals in Gaza are describing the situation as “Apocalyptic.” 

• Sovereign God, you are the creator and sustainer of this world. No prayer fully expresses our suffering, and no statement says all that can be said. As the suffering in Gaza is described as “Apocalyptic,” we hold on to the mystery of our faith that your justice and mercy will redeem all suffering, and all evil powers and agents will be accounted for. We acknowledge your presence in Gaza through our actions of solidarity and our work to end all forms of injustice around the globe. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

On the 10th of December, Christians across the globe marked the second Sunday of Advent by lighting the candle of “Faith”. While the world is celebrating the Christmas season by decorating trees and holding Christmas parties, in Palestine, we are commemorating Christmas by foregoing the usual celebrations, waiting for God to deliver us from 75 years of settler colonial violence. Indeed, we are living out the reality of the Christmas story.  

• Emmauel, your incarnation took place in our land 2000 years ago; like those in the nativity story, we await your saving presence. Lord, this year, help us to deeply understand the meaning of your incarnation, which promises liberation and justice for the oppressed. May we proclaim Mary’s prophetic words this Christmas, “He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty” (Luke 1:52-53).  

Since October 7th at least 266 Palestinians have been killed, and more than 3,365 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank. Settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties are on the rise, causing the displacement of 1000 Palestinian families, including 388 children. Furthermore, Israel has increased the incarceration of Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem with no charge or trial, making them hostages.  

• God of the oppressed, we do not have enough time to properly mourn as the suffering continues. The pressing realities of death and sin have crushed our spirits, broken our hearts, and changed the fabric of our being. O Lord, you seem to have forsaken us, where are you in these times? As we lament, we proclaim that, “The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble” (Psalm 9:9).   

Horrific videos and images have emerged of at least 100 Palestinian men detained by Israeli forces who were forced to be stripped to their underwear, blindfolded, and made to kneel on a street in northern Gaza. These Palestinian men were reportedly taking refuge in two schools affiliated with UNRWA and the images, which were widely circulated on social media, have been confirmed by the Israeli army.   

Crucified Christ, you were publicly humiliated and naked on the cross. You are familiar with the experience of many Palestinians who have been humiliated by imperial powers. Lord, restore the dignity of the oppressed. Redeem this world by ending all structures and systems of sin and bring about the restoration of relationships. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

On the 8th of December, Sabeel organized the monthly meeting of Palestinian Christian civil society organizations in Jerusalem which also included Christian clergy. This meeting was held in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem as an act of solidarity with the Armenian community, who are struggling to preserve the Christian presence in the Old City of Jerusalem and keep their precious lands from being sold.   

Divine creator, we are all overwhelmed with the immense struggles and suffering we are facing. Like Christ, we are weeping over the situation in Jerusalem and the rest of Palestine. Help us, O Lord, to do more than regret our circumstances, but to act with unity and zeal. Lord, we pray that the cries of the Armenian community in Jerusalem will be heard by you and that your justice will rain down, quenching our thirst for justice.  

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer     

On the 8th of December, the United Nations Security Council voted on a resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. The vote came after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made a rare move on the 6th of December to formally warn the 15-member council of the global threat from the two-month-long war. 13 members voted in favor of the ceasefire resolution, the United Kingdom abstained, and unfortunately, the United States vetoed the demand for a ceasefire.  

All-knowing God, we are baffled by the United States’ veto and the United Kingdom’s abstention. God, as each day passes, you are the only one who knows how many lives could have been saved if there were a ceasefire. Let the outrage over these decisions increase global efforts for a ceasefire. Lord, as we struggle for justice, we remember the words of the apostle Paul, “Be angry but do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26). 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

4 DECEMBER 2023

On the 1st of December, the truce between Israel and Hamas expired and the fighting has resumed. Israel resumed its attacks on northern, southern, and central Gaza, killing a reported 800 people as of the 4th of December. At least 1.8 million people in Gaza are internally displaced. Hamas has also begun again to fire missiles towards Israeli settlements and towns neighboring Gaza. During the truce, many Palestinian prisoners were released who had not been tried or charged, that is hostages, and several Israeli and foreign national hostages were released. Moreover, some humanitarian aid was allowed to enter Gaza.

• God you are the Alpha and the Omega, again and again violence reigns and the innocent suffer. We have faith, although it is not easy to understand that “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). Lord, you are eternal, unlike systems, leaders, and sin, which are temporal. Help us glorify your name through justice, which is love made public. Let us be agents of your kingdom by calling for an immediate ceasefire and holding all those who partake and enable war crimes accountable.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer   

As several Palestinian prisoners, including minors, are being released from Israeli jails as a part of the truce agreement between Israel and Hamas, the horrific stories of their experiences are now emerging. There are reports that Israeli prison guards torture, beat, sexually assault, and threaten Palestinian prisoners. Many Palestinian prisoners continue to be incarcerated without charge or trial, making them hostages, while Israel has arrested more Palestinians as it released during the truce.

• Liberator of the captives, we are thankful for the release of the several Israeli hostages in Gaza and the several Palestinians who have been arbitrarily detained, many of whom are children. We pray that all evil hidden in prisons will be exposed and accounted for. Lord, free all the captives, the wrongfully incarcerated and imprisoned, and let them return to their families unharmed. Likewise, we pray for liberation to those who are self-imprisoned by their hatred and racist supremacy.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer                    

On the 3rd of December, Dar al-Kalima University organized an event titled “Hope from Bethlehem: Peace for Palestine A Christmas Solidarity Campaign with the People in Gaza”. Well-known artists from Palestine and abroad performed to encourage the call for an immediate ceasefire, an open and sustainable humanitarian corridor into Gaza, and a just and lasting peace in Palestine and Israel. As we enter the season of advent, many in the Western Church have marked the first Sunday by lighting the candle of “Hope”, and many in the eastern Church began their “Nativity Fast”.

• Emmauel, God with us, Advent in Palestine this year feels like a paradox. We meditate on the hope of the incarnation whilst we live in a hopeless reality where children are killed, lives lost become mere numbers and statistics, women have no safe place to give birth, and injustice is celebrated. Lord, this is your story. As we meditate on your incarnation, let it be a time of active waiting which feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, heals the sick, and struggles with the oppressed for their liberation.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer             

On the 29th of November, the United Nations observed the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People”. Marches, sit-ins, protests and various other events took place as people from all around the world expressed their solidarity with the Palestinian people. While governments in the West support the injustices committed by the State of Israel, many of their citizens regularly criticize their governments and protest on the streets in record breaking numbers.

• God of the oppressed, for more than 75 years Palestinians have been robbed of their lands, homes, dignity, and lives due to the structures and systems of sin. We have been dehumanized to the point that our mere identity is a crime from birth. Lord, we thank you for the beautiful solidarity around the world from those who are advocating for justice and praying for mercy for our enemies since, “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him” (Proverbs 14:31).

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer          

Last week, several Palestinians, including two children, 8-year-old Adam Samer al-Ghoul and 15-year-old Basil Suleiman Abu al-Wafa were killed by Israeli forces in Jenin refugee camp. It is reported that the Israeli military during their raids prevented Palestinian ambulances from reaching the injured. Moreover, Israel arrested at least 150 Palestinians from East Jerusalem and the West Bank indefinitely with no charges, and there have been reports of settler attacks on Palestinian farmers and burning of olive trees.

• Almighty God, give assurance to the bereaved families that although their loved ones have passed from their sight, they have not passed from your love. Draw near to us as we mourn so that we may utter the words of the prophet Job, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5-6). Help us to see you in this nightmare. Console us through liberation, heal us through justice, humble the rulers of the world that are responsible for the loss of so many Palestinian lives.  

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 25th of November, three young Palestinian men, Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdalhamid, and Tahseen Ahmed, were shot near a university campus in the US. According to the police, the young men were speaking Arabic and two of them were wearing keffiyehs when attacked. Several sources claim that biased media coverage and the political discourse in the US have led to an increase in anti-Arab and anti-Islam sentiments, making the shooting a hate crime. 

• God of love, all Palestinians around the world suffer from hate on different scales. Lord, heal Awartani, Abdalhamid, and Ahmed. Restore them to full health and strengthen their families. We call for your justice towards the shooter and an end to the violent rhetoric and ideologies which motivated his crimes. Lord, replace all forms of hate and violence, whether through guns or through words, with actions of love and words of truth.  

• We join the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Myanmar and Thailand.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayers

27 NOVEMBER 2023

On the 22nd of November, Israel and Hamas agreed to a four-day pause in their fighting. This agreement, which is subject to extension, includes the release of 150 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons in exchange for 50 Israeli hostages held captive by Hamas in Gaza. Furthermore, under the terms of the truce, hundreds of trucks will be allowed to enter Gaza, carrying fuel, humanitarian and medical aid.

Ÿ All merciful God, although we are thankful for a temporary pause which will free prisoners and hostages, and allow some lifesaving aid into Gaza, we are not satisfied. Lord, grant us an unwavering spirit that continues to struggle for liberation, justice, and peace. We pray for a complete ceasefire of arms, as well as the end of oppressive ideologies, checkpoints, human rights violations, and anything which sustains and encourages hatred in our context and around the world. Lord, until we see the day when all is redeemed, increase in us the zeal to struggle for truth and love.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

November 20th marked World Children’s Day, commemorating the UN General Assembly’s adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959. At least 6000 children have died according to Palestinian officials since the 7th of October. Furthermore, at least 1,800 Palestinian children remain missing under the rubble, and thousands more are injured. All live in conditions that no child should ever live in. 28 out of the 39 premature babies born, have been evacuated to Egypt after they were left without incubators when al-Shifa Hospital ran short of fuel and medical supplies following the Israeli raid on the hospital.

Ÿ Heavenly Father, since the 7th of October, your children in Gaza have been some of the most victimized. Each child killed, injured, trapped under the rubble, sick, or living in trauma, is known by you, including their innocent smiles and distinct talents that reflect your image. Lord, we plead for your compassion for the premature babies who are fighting for their lives. For all those mourning we hold on to your promise as mentioned in Isaiah 66:13 that, “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you…”.     

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 20th of November, Friends of Sabeel North America, along with a diverse coalition of Christian voices, released a statement in response to the horrific situation in Palestine-Israel. In this statement, they call for an immediate ceasefire by all parties, adequate supply of humanitarian aid into Gaza, and accountability for the perpetrators and enablers of war crimes, in accordance with international law, amongst other demands to see the end of the oppression that Palestinians face.  

Ÿ God of the orphan, the widow, and the refugee, we thank you for all the voices that are calling for an immediate ceasefire and the implementation of international law. We remember your words in the book of prophet Micah, “What sorrow awaits you who lie awake at night, thinking up evil plans. You rise at dawn and hurry to carry them out, simply because you have the power to do so.” Lord, change the hearts and actions of those who perform injustice, and amplify the voices that are calling for righteousness, so that all may hear.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Israeli soldiers and settlers continue their raids and violent acts in many areas in the West Bank. This has resulted in the deaths of several young Palestinians, the destruction of Palestinian infrastructure, especially in the refugee camps, and the incarceration of many without charge or trial. At least 400 Palestinians have died in the West Bank in 2023, with the death toll expected to rise every week. 

Ÿ All merciful God, we come before you proclaiming as that you are a “righteous judge and always condemn the wicked” (Psalm 7:11). Lord, we trust that your judgment will be dealt in the West Bank and that you will condemn the wicked. Help us to be salt and light for the oppressed. We pray that the day will come when we will thank you for your justice and praise you in songs of joy.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 23rd of November, Sabeel held their monthly women’s Bible Study in Terra Sancta Parish Center. This Bible Study is one of a series of sessions which offers space to interpret the Bible contextually, and prayerfully discuss the current reality. Sister Ghada Na’meh led the Bible session with the help of the Sabeel staff.

Ÿ Jesus of Nazareth, you are the Word made flesh. Help us to hear, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the message of your goodness by meditating on the Holy witness of the Bible. May these Sabeel Bible lessons illuminate scripture’s message of liberation, resilience, and hope, making our faith meaningful to our present reality. Bless all who led and participated in the Bible lesson.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On October 26th, the leader of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem announced it would cancel a once-secret 2021 land lease deal with a real estate company that has alleged links to settler interests. Since then, contractors, armed settlers and bulldozers have been sent to seize the land – which, along with the parking lot, includes Armenian Church property and homes of several families. Despite this, the Armenian community in Jerusalem have remained steadfast in their protest and refuse to give in to the intimidation.

Ÿ God of truth, the Armenian community has been in Jerusalem for at least 1600 years, contributing to the rich and beautiful mosaic of Christianity. Lord, we thank you for their resilience which exemplifies their connection to Jerusalem and love for their community. We pray that all threats on the Armenian property will be eliminated and may you sustain their presence in Jerusalem.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer  

The 23rd of November marked Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. Although this holiday has virtuous elements of gratitude, family bonding, and thanksgiving for the harvest of the season, for Native Americans it is a “National Day of Mourning.” For Indigenous peoples, the day is a reminder of the genocide, dispossession of their homes and lands, and the continued violence on their culture and livelihood. It is also a chance to protest and raise awareness for the struggles of Native American tribes in the face of colonialism.

Ÿ God of light, we join in mourning with our Native American brothers and sisters who continually suffer from colonial violence. We, like many other indigenous people groups around the globe, face a colonial structure of violence and erasure. Lord, give us strength as we face the storm and work to end all forms of colonial structures, ideologies, and actions which oppress natives around the world.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

Ÿ We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Brunei, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayers

20 NOVEMBER 2023

With every minute that passes, the situation in Gaza worsens. According to several sources, Israel has dropped the equivalent of two nuclear bombs in explosives on one of the most densely populated areas in the globe. While intense bombings and fighting continues in the north of Gaza, the south is also bombed frequently. All of Gaza is facing a severe humanitarian crisis; nowhere is safe.

– Sovereign Lord, the blood of the thousands of lives lost is crying out from the ground, haunting us day and night. The words of prophet Habakkuk remain true to this day, “The law is ignored and justice is never upheld…” We come to you, O Lord, asking for your liberating love, comfort, and strength. Do not let us become numb to the pain of the oppressed as time goes by. Lord, show us the way of genuine solidarity rather than pity or despair.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

Since the 7th of October, the number of Palestinian political prisoners has increased significantly. Among the political prisoners are 200 children and more than 2000 administrative detainees who are being detained indefinitely with no charge or trial. The reported conditions of the prisoners are of torture and overall inhuman treatment. It has been reported that 5 Palestinian detainees have died since their imprisonment. Since 1967, Israel has arrested a reported 1 million Palestinians. Over 200 Israeli hostages remain in Gaza with their security uncertain, as more days pass without a ceasefire.

– God of justice, liberator of prisoners, captives, and of all humanity through the incarnation of Christ. We pray that you liberate all who are unjustly incarcerated and held as hostages. As we pray for the captives, we hold on to our faith that “The Lord hears the needy and does not despise his captive people.” May we work for liberation on this earth by being agents of your Kingdom.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On November 10th, the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem announced that there will be no Christmas festivities this year due to the horrific events in Palestine-Israel. Although festivities will not occur, the Heads of Churches asked congregants to focus on the “spiritual meaning of Christmas” and to both pray for and donate to the victims instead.

– Emmanuel, help your Church and its flock discern how best to be witnesses to your care for liberation and justice for the oppressed during the seasons of Advent and Christmas. Lord, encourage us to hold a prophetic voice in our words and deeds, that we may boldly speak against the injustices of this world. Help us to practice what we preach as we seek to build our house on the rock and not on the sand. Help us with our unbelief and grant us a heart of humility.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Over the last week, Israeli forces have raided many areas in the West Bank. At least 200 Palestinians have been killed since the 7th of October and the Israeli army had been levelling the streets with armored bulldozers for several days. At least 15 herding communities: 98 households comprising 828 people, including 313 children, have been displaced due to settler violence or increased movement restrictions since the 7th of October.   

– Holy God, abuse, displacement, and death are things you experienced on your flesh 2000 years ago. Lord, we plead for healing to the injured and comfort for those who have lost loved ones. We know that justice for the oppressed is the only thing that will bring true peace.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Since the 7th of October, medical workers, journalists, taxi and ambulance drivers, and many others, have performed true acts of heroism. They have healed the sick and injured, given a voice to the voiceless, and helped rescue those trapped in the rubble, risking their own lives. At least 44 Palestinian journalists and over 192 Palestinian doctors have died since the 7th of October, with many others injured.

Ÿ God of life, we express gratitude for the courage and steadfastness exhibited by the medical professionals, journalists, taxi drivers, and rescue workers in Gaza. Their unwavering commitment to saving and empowering human life is a powerful reflection of the goodness and compassion within our community. Lord may their acts of love and benevolence inspire and uplift all who strive for freedom, justice, and security. Send your Holy Spirit to all who are injured, sick, and trapped under the rubble.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer         

While the crisis in Gaza and Palestine continues to make news headlines, others around the world are also suffering from conflict. The civil war in Sudan has caused the displacement of at least 6 million people, with reported ethnic killings. The conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo has resulted in displacement and thousands of deaths. People in many other areas in the world such as Somalia, Myanmar, Ukraine, Nepal, continue to suffer.

Ÿ God of the oppressed, help us to understand that the cry for freedom is for all those under oppression and when injustice occurs it is a threat for all peoples around the world. As we struggle to achieve liberation, justice, and peace within our context, let us remember that it is linked to others around the world. God, provide liberation for all peoples and help us foster solidarity for one another.    

Ÿ We join with the world council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of East Timor (Timor Leste), Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayers

14 NOVEMBER 2023

Since the 7th of October, the situation continues to worsen in Gaza. Israel’s intense bombardment of the Gaza Strip, one of the world’s most densely populated areas, has caused the reported deaths of over 11,000 Palestinians, including more than 4,000 children as of the 13th of November. Thousands are trapped under the rubble. Unfortunately, the death continues with every hour. With the restriction of water, food, medical supplies, fuel, electricity, and the displacement of over one million people, Gaza is facing an unprecedented health crisis that risks outbreak of deadly infectious diseases. Meanwhile, the 240 Israeli hostages remain in captivity in Gaza and their security is becoming more and more uncertain.

Ÿ Divine Creator, as we lament all loss of life, we plead for you to send manna to the hungry and multiply their food as Christ did to feed the 5000. Lord, quinch the thirst of all who are searching for water and justice. May our prayers ascend to the heavens like incense. Have mercy and protection on all who are suffering, particularly those vulnerable in Gaza. How much longer shall this suffering continue, O Lord? 

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 9th of November, Sabeel Jerusalem, Arab Catholic Scouts, and St. Vincent de Paul Society held a silent vigil with the lighting of candles and lifting of prayers for the current situation. This occurred in the Tera Sancta School courtyard and was attended by at least 300 people. Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzabella shared a short reflection on the situation and was among the many who attended the event. Additionally, on the 10th of November, Sabeel held a webinar titled “Transnational Solidarity amongst Liberation Theologies: Palestine and Beyond”. This event was aimed to foster more transnational solidarity and action amongst liberation theologies.

Ÿ Resurrected Christ, whilst feelings of despair are dominating our daily lives, we “Trust in the Lord and do good”. We thank you Lord, for the efforts of the Sabeel Jerusalem staff, their allies, and many others who played a role in making these events possible. We pray that these events planted seeds that one day will grow. We ask your Spirit to water the seeds already planted, as we know that they hold future promise. May the Holy Spirit work in all our efforts for justice, liberation and peace.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer        

As the period of suffering continues with the continuous bombing and fighting in northern Gaza, many Palestinians from northern Gaza have been displaced and forced to walk an unsafe route by foot to take refuge in the south. These images of displacement remind us of the painful memories in the Nakba of 1948. This is evidence that the Nakba was not a historical event but is an ongoing system affecting all aspects of life.

Ÿ Emmanuel, you were displaced as an infant to Egypt, forced to flee for your life. You were a refugee, vulnerable to suffering and abuse. Lord, as your precious children in Gaza are displaced for the second or even third time from their homes and lands, grant them your protection and mercy. Lord, we pray that you help our unbelief and provide a liberation where all Palestinian refugees can return to their homes with dignity.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

On the 8th of November, the Israeli Knesset passed an alteration to the Counter-Terrorism Law. This amendment introduces a new criminal offense, namely the “consumption of terrorist materials”, with a maximum penalty of one year’s imprisonment. Arrests have already been made against Palestinians with Israeli citizenship under the pretext of the amendment. This is happening in addition to the many Palestinians with Israeli citizenships who have been fired from their jobs or are under threat of violence for expressing sympathy over the loss of innocent life in Gaza. 

Ÿ Almighty God, whilst governments, media platforms, and organizations attempt to control the thoughts and voices of the oppressed through intimidation, we remember that you, O Lord, are the highest authority. We pray for the freedom of expression, whilst wisely discerning that in exercising this freedom, we must refrain from violence, discrimination and marginalization of any peoples. We hold on to our faith that you, O Lord know and listen to the cries of the oppressed.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer     

Over the last week, Israeli raids in the West Bank, especially in Jenin refugee camp, have been a frequent occurrence. Moreover, settler-violence in the West Bank has soared, especially in Area C. As a result, several Palestinians have been displaced from their homes due to fear of settler-violence. The whole of the West Bank has been damaged economically and socially as nearly all checkpoints are under complete closure, restricting the movement of Palestinians.

Ÿ God of liberation, we come before you like the persistent widow pleading for justice. We continue with our prayers for all Palestinians in the West Bank, especially in Jenin refugee camp, who are undergoing immense violence. Comfort the bereaved families and heal the injured. Lord, liberate the Palestinians in the West Bank by ending the brutal occupation and colonization they experience.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 7th of November, Sabeel and other Israeli organizations conducted a silent vigil for all liveslostsince the 7th of October. Among those who attended the vigil were Palestinians and Israelis whose loved ones have been killed or kidnapped. Additionally, on the 10th of November, Sabeel organized a meeting for Palestinian Christian church leaders and organizations in Jerusalem to discuss how to respond to the situation in the best manner.

Ÿ God of inclusivity, whilst we are overwhelmed by the ongoing suffering, we know that we must be courageous and act so that we may be witnesses to your kingdom. Lord, send your Holy Spirit to help us act for justice, mercy, liberation, and peace. When we are tempted or afraid, encourage us to walk faithfully and carry our own crosses. We hold on to our belief that faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

Ÿ We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Australia.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayers 

6 NOVEMBER 2023

It has now been over a month since the beginning of this period of suffering and misery. The situation in Gaza is indescribable. The death toll continues to rise. Stories that manage to be written or scenes captured on camera seem as though they are from a horror film. One tragic story is the tragic bombing of Jabalia refugee camp which killed many people. Along with the 22,000 injured, and the collapse of nearly all services in Gaza, there are thousands of missing people, including more than 1,200 missing children buried under the rubble. Journalists operating in Gaza describe the situation as “Hell on Earth”.

Ÿ Holy God, for more than 75 years we have been hurting and experiencing perpetual trauma. The current events in Gaza lead us to the same question of the prophet Jeremiah: “Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable?”. As missiles and white phosphorus rain down from the skies on Gaza, killing all indiscriminately, we ask you O Lord, to show your compassion and mercy for the oppressed.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Since the 7th of October, Israeli forces have intensified their nightly raids of Palestinian homes, villages and cities in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. There have been more than 1,800 arrests. Palestinian detainees endure harsh treatment and are held in poor conditions in Israeli prisons. Moreover, more than 200 Israeli hostages remain in captivity in Gaza, some of whom are elderly and children.

Ÿ God of the captives, you were imprisoned and know what it is like to be held captive. We pray for all those wrongfully imprisoned and captured as a method of warfare. In moments of despair, may they know your compassion, in times of distress, may they know your peace. Lord, we pray for the safety of all wrongly incarcerated Palestinian prisoners and the Israeli hostages in Gaza. By your power we pray for their immediate release and safe return home.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer     

On the 1st of November, many in the Western Church celebrated “All Saints Day” commemorating all the saints and martyrs of the church, known and unknown. The following day commemorates all the faithful who have departed from this earth known as “All Souls Day”. These days provide an opportunity to remember the spiritual connection between the living and those who have passed on.

Ÿ God of life, we come from a land which has been, and is being, drenched in the blood of the martyrs and saints, known and unknown. We are currently witnessing your saints in Gaza who are doctors, journalists, and rescue teams attempting to save lives and give a voice to the voiceless. We also behold the thousands of martyrs who bear witness through their deaths to the injustices of this world. O Lord, we ask ourselves: what are we doing to stop their crucifixion? We hold on to our faith that the day of resurrection redeems all suffering and liberates the oppressed.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

 Since the 7th of October, Israeli military and settler violence is soaring in the West Bank, particularly in vulnerable communities in Area C. More than 132 Palestinians in the West Bank have been killed, some communities in Area C have been displaced due to increased settler violence. Leaflets have been distributed by settlers warning Palestinians in the West Bank of a forthcoming Nakba. Videos are emerging on social media of Palestinian detainees from the West Bank being tortured and mocked by Israeli soldiers.

Ÿ God of refuge, as we are overwhelmed by the horrific situation in Gaza, let us not be blind to the evil actions occurring in the West Bank. We are one people who are suffering from the same matrix of coloniality. We lament the lives lost in the West Bank and ask your provision for those displaced from their homes, those under constant threat, and those tortured and abused. we know that the “Lord maintains the cause of the needy, and executes justice for the poor…”

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Since the 7th of October, hundreds of thousands of protestors around the world are calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. These voices come from a mosaic of identities, expressing global concern for all human life in Palestine-Israel. The call for a ceasefire is intended to allow lifesaving humanitarian aid to enter Gaza, ensure the safety of the Israeli hostages in Gaza, and to end the loss of civilian life.

Ÿ God of peace, we thank you for all the voices, petitions, and protests calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. These voices witness to your love for all people who are suffering. Each day that passes without a ceasefire, more innocent lives are lost, and the likelihood that prisoners and hostages will be safely released becomes more uncertain.  We come before you, God, asking for you to intervene for an immediate ceasefire.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    

On the 31st of October, Sabeel organised a women’s Bible study at Terra Sanctae Parish centre in Beit Hanina. This time offered a space to gather collectively, provided an outlet for the suffering and the pain of the current situation in Palestine-Israel and a chance to wrestle with faith-based questions. The mere act of coming together for prayer and reflection helps in communally supporting one another in times of distress.

Ÿ Resurrected Christ, we remember that you said where two or three gather in your name, you will be with them. We hold to our faith that you were amongst the women in the Bible Study organised by Sabeel. We thank you for this opportunity to gather and reflect on your loving heart for creation. We hope that these meetings will help foster a faith that is steadfast like the olive tree.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Ÿ We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the islands of Oceania: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia (Maohi Nui), Kanaky, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

30 OCTOBER 2023

Since the 7th of October, the situation in Gaza has been deteriorating. The cumulative number of Palestinians killed in Gaza now exceeds 8000, amongst them more than 3000 children. This number unfortunately, is expected to rise with every hour that passes. The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is ongoing. Over 1 million people have been internally displaced, and the healthcare system is collapsing due to Israel’s restriction of essential resources from entering Gaza. Hospitals, schools, and humanitarian facilities have been hit by missiles. No space is safe in Gaza and the citizens of Israel continue to suffer as a result of the violent situation.  

 Crucified God, you are known as the “Man of Sorrows.” No statement says all that can be said, no prayer can fully express the current depth of pain and suffering. We hold on to the belief that you are co-suffering with those in Gaza, and you feel their pain on your skin. With every fiber of our being, we come before you pleading for an urgent ceasefire to allow life-saving aid to reach Gaza. How much longer, O Lord, must this suffering continue?
Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer    


Israel has conducted a mass arrest campaign across the West Bank since the 7th of October. At least 1100 Palestinians in the West Bank have been arrested so far. Several sources highlight the severe mistreatment and dire conditions under which detainees are being held. Two Palestinian prisoners have died since their arrest due to unknown circumstances. Israel attributes their deaths to health issues, while Palestinian sources claim it is because of torture.

 Heavenly Father, as mass arrests take place across the West Bank and cruel treatment of Palestinians continues in the name of justice, we remember that you are sovereign. Grant all Palestinian political prisoners who have been wrongly convicted and are enduring mistreatment the knowledge of your love despite their circumstances. May the crimes of systems, governments, and individuals be illuminated by your light.
Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer


On October 25th, four family members of Al Jazeera’s Gaza Bureau Chief, Wael Dahdouh, were killed in an Israeli airstrike in southern Gaza. Dahdouh lost his wife, his daughter, his grandson and his 15-year-old son. Dahdouh received the news from live television. This devastating story highlights the abhorrent circumstances journalists, medical workers, and many other professionals face in Gaza. Since the 7th of October, 22 Palestinian Journalists in Gaza have been killed.

• God of truth, your son, the prophets, and the saints, spoke truth to power at a great cost. Corrupt powers always attempt to silence the oppressed and distort the truth for their benefit. We are grateful for the journalists who are providing a voice to the voiceless and we honor their sacrifices. Lord, strengthen all those in Gaza who are working for goodness, acting as your hands and feet during these dark times.
Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer


Since the 7th of October, the response of the Western Church has disappointed the Palestinian people. Some Churches have provided theological justification for the bloodshed while others remain silent. Only a few have spoken out on the side of justice and mercy. In response, Palestinian Christians issued an open letter calling Western Churches to repent and, “Learn to do right; seek justice; defend the oppressed.”

• God of love, we believe that justice is love made public. The Global Church must do more to be a witness of Christ, to be salt of the earth, a shining light in the darkness. Any theology which promotes oppression should be challenged. Likewise, any lukewarm stance must be reformed and repented of. We thank you Lord, for the Churches who are standing for what is right, witnessing to your heart for the oppressed.
Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer


November 2nd marks the 106th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. This declaration, expressed British support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine without considering the rights of the native population. It is widely recognized as a significant factor that set the stage for the forced displacement of Palestinians.  Foreign interference, spanning from that time until today, has consistently hindered the pursuit of justice and peace for everyone in the Palestine-Israel.

 God who advocates for the oppressed, generations of Palestinians have witnessed how the West facilitates their oppression. This is being observed today as the West is assisting in the continuation of suffering of all in Palestine-Israel, particularly the people of Gaza. Lord, we come before you to advocate for those who are in the margins and judge the powers which perpetuate inequality and oppression.
Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer.    


Next week, Kumi Now will focus on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim discrimination. In recent times, there has been an alarming increase in hate crimes targeting Muslims, accompanied by efforts within Western media to unjustly associate all Muslims with violence. This Islamophobia is used in propaganda efforts, perpetuating violent, and racist depictions of Palestinians. 

• God of inclusivity, as we witness a rise of Islamophobia, especially in the media, we pray for the courage to challenge all hate crimes, unjust associations, and racist colonial depictions against and of Muslims. Lord, may we be witnesses to your love for all people by lifting a prophetic voice and resisting nonviolently against Islamophobia through our actions.    
Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer


 We join the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Canada, and the United States.
Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

23 OCTOBER 2023

On the evening of Tuesday, October 17, a strike on Gaza’s al-Ahli Arab Hospital, often called the Baptist Hospital, killed at least 500 people, most of them children and women. Images and videos revealed body parts scattered across the hospital grounds, doctors performing emergency surgeries without anesthesia, and parents screaming and crying at the side of their deceased children. This is one of the most tragic bombings Palestinians have ever experienced. In response, the Palestinian Authority declared three days of mourning over al-Ahli hospital.

•  Lord, we come to you with heavy hearts, praying for an immediate ceasefire and an end to all violence. We ask for wisdom and compassion to touch the hearts of those in power and influence, guiding them towards peace and justice. May a thorough investigation hold all responsible for war crimes accountable, and may the deep-rooted injustices against the Palestinian people find a path to healing and resolution.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On October 19th, an Israeli airstrike tragically resulted in the loss of at least 18 lives and numerous injuries at the Greek Orthodox Saint Porphyrius Church compound in Gaza. Before the attack, the church received multiple warnings from the Israeli military about an impending strike on the area. Sadly, due to the ongoing bombardment across the entire Gaza strip, the people at the church had no safe haven to seek refuge other than within the church itself. In the past week, 31 mosques and 3 churches have been damaged in Gaza. 

God of Sumud, as we think and pray for the Palestinians who were bombed in the Church, let us remember Saint Porphyrius words “The love of God transforms everything; it sanctifies, amends, and changes the nature of everything.” We humbly pray for the people of Gaza, especially those affected by the recent tragedy at the church. Comfort the grieving, heal the wounded, and bring peace to their hearts.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Violence rises in the West Bank amid Israel’s continuing assault on the Gaza Strip. At least 89 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops or settlers in the West Bank since the October 7th and more than 1100 Palestinians have been arrested by the Israeli army. Moreover, Palestinians in the West Bank have been protesting against Palestinian Authority, highlighting the long-simmering Palestinian anger against President Mahmoud Abbas.

Eternal God, we lift up all Palestinians in the West Bank who are experiencing a soar of violence from settlers and the Israeli army. Comfort the families who have lost loved ones, may their deaths be a witness to the injustice of the occupation. Lord, grant the Palestinians in the West Bank your protection and love in this period of darkness and death. We pray that corruption in all forms will cease to exist, so that truth, justice, and peace flourish.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer.

Since October 7th, Palestinian journalists and medical professionals have faced extremely dire conditions. Several Palestinian journalists have lost their lives or live under constant threats to their safety. Tragically, some of these journalists have had to report on the deaths of their own family members. Similarly, Palestinian medical workers have also been subjected to horrible situations, with some suffering injuries or losing their lives while working under unimaginably challenging circumstances.

Merciful God, in this time we are witnessing so much darkness and sin. However, the Palestinian journalists and medical workers are showing acts of heroism, working best they can under hellish circumstances. Bless and protect them as they are doing Holy work. We thank them for their Sumud and pray that their inspiring work may be known across the globe.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 16th of October, Israeli police arrested influential singer, Dalal Abu Amnh, in her home in Nazareth. The arrest was under the alleged claims of “incitement” after she posted sympathy for the children of Gaza. This incident is part of a wider campaign of arrest and interrogation over remarks of Palestinian citizens of Israel expressing solidarity with the residents Gaza. Furthermore, Israel’s police commissioner, Kobi Shabtai, has threatened to send Palestinian citizens of Israel to Gaza for showing support for the besieged residents.

God of liberation, we lift up all Palestinian citizens of Israel who are undergoing threats, abuse, and at times physical violence. Lord, send Abu Amna and her family encouragement, strength, and pray that truth shall be revealed. We ask for your wisdom and mercy as Palestinian citizens of Israel to discern how and when to show their support for those suffering in Gaza. May lies and intimidation crumble down like the walls of Jericho.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

Next Kumi Now Online will focus on the subject of Antisemitism. In recent times, there has been a rise of anti-Jewish crimes particularly committed by certain right-wing movements in the West. Indeed, this corresponds with other spikes of racism around the globe.

Ÿ God of inclusivity, you have created all in your image. We pray that antisemitism and all forms of racism halt through the power of your Holy Spirit. Grant us the strength to be instruments of justice and compassion in your name.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer     

On the 18th of October, UN General Secretary António Guterres, called Security Council resolution for an immediate humanitarian momentary ceasefire in Palestine-Israel to provide lifesaving aid for the “epic human suffering” in Gaza. Whilst 12 of the Council’s 15 members voted in favour of Guterres’ resolution, and two (Russia, and the United Kingdom) abstained, the United States, was the only vote against which vetoed the whole resolution. 

• Resurrected Christ, the rejection to merely call for a temporary ceasefire to provide lifesaving aid, reminds one of the sheer evils existing in our world. We hold in faith that all shall face your divine wrath. We thank all protests, statements, petitions, and UN resolutions which call for an immediate ceasefire, allowing for aid to go to Gaza and potentially save thousands of lives. We plead for more people to join the efforts of a ceasefire.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

• We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the Caribbean.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

17 OCTOBER 2023

More than a week since the beginning of a series of catastrophic events in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel, the suffering continues. After Hamas’ operation called “Al-Aqsa Flood” which killed more than 1400 Israelis and rendering thousands more injured, Israel launched a devastating attack on Gaza. Heavy Israeli bombardments on Gaza, from the air, sea, and land, have continued almost uninterrupted, resulting in the deaths of thousands of Palestinians lives and many more injured. It is reported that Israel has been committing numerous war crimes during their aggression on Gaza.

– God of love, we lament for all those who have recently lost loved ones, may your Holy Spirit comfort the bereaved families. We call for your mercy Lord through lamentation. This land has witnessed so much bloodshed and suffering which has created a vicious cycle of violence. We pray, for true transformation without reverting to a violent status quo, where Palestinians and Israelis are free and equal.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer

On October 7th, Israel’s Minister of Energy, Israel Katz, enacted severe measures, cutting off water, fuel, medical aid, and electricity to Gaza. These actions amounted to a collective punishment against Gaza’s residents. Gaza was already grappling with a humanitarian crisis due to the Israeli siege, but it has now escalated into an unprecedented and catastrophic humanitarian tragedy affecting two million people. Additionally, Israel issued an evacuation order for 1.1 million residents in the northern part of Gaza, with no secure routes provided to reach safety in the south. This decision resulted in further unimaginable suffering.

– Emmanuel, we come before you confused, shocked, saddened, and angry. We struggle to see your presence right now and we ask “Weynak ya Allah?!”. We hold on to the belief that each person is created in your image and is precious in your eyes. As your children in Gaza are struggling for their basic needs, we pray that You provide them Your daily bread. Bless all the medical staff who are taking care of the wounded in such extreme adverse circumstances.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer    

Since the start of the escalation of violence, the EU, the United States, the United Kingdom, and several other countries have been uncritical towards Israel’s actions against Gaza. In response, on Saturday the 14th of October, thousands of protestors all around the world took to the streets in their support of Palestine, opposition to international compliance, and called for international law to be implemented.

– God of the oppressed, we are resilient to the truth that you love those who are in the margins of society, and you are the Alpha and the Omega. Many voices have tried to cry out that the situation is not sustainable and will collapse into a reality of darkness where many will suffer. We pray that the international community will strive for a just solution which entails the ending of hatred, occupation, apartheid, and Jewish supremacy. May we live in a land where justice, peace, and love flourishes, where every tear will be wiped away and mourning shall be no more.

Lord in your mercy… hear our prayer 

On the 11th of October, Sabeel Jerusalem published a statement regarding the current situation in Palestine-Israel. The statement contextualizes the events within the broader framework of 75 years of apartheid and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people, condemns all forms of violent resistance and calls for nonviolence, and calls for international law to be implemented.

– Heavenly Father, we ask that this statement encourages the Sabeel of love, compassion, and justice. Since the First Intifada in 1987, we have advocated for the oppressed through international law and non-violent resistance. Lord, help us in these times be a witness to Your kingdom so that Your will be done.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer 

Next week, Kumi Now Online will focus on the effects of the Palestinian-Israeli reality on Palestinian women. The violence of colonialism has created systems of oppression which are interlinked. Indeed, Zionism and the patriarchy are connected making the oppression of Palestinian women intersectional and multidimensional. Hence, Palestinian women are particularly marginalized.

– Divine creator, You created humanity in Your image. You incarnated Yourself in human form. We lift up all Palestinian women who are suffering from Patriarchy and Zionism. May our struggle for liberation be intersectional and just for all people, witnessing Your kingdom where all are equal.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer

On October 7th, Afghanistan was struck by the first in a series of devastating earthquakes. Initial reports indicate a death toll exceeding 2000 lives, with expectations of further increases, along with numerous injuries. Many residents of the affected region are sleeping outdoors, fearing the collapse of their homes and potential entrapment under rubble as subsequent quakes may hit. The situation worsened with the arrival of dust storms, causing further damage to the tents where survivors sought shelter.

– Eternal God, we pray for the well-being, safety, and comfort of all those affected by these challenging circumstances in Afghanistan. May they find strength and support during these difficult times and may the world come together to extend a helping hand to those in need. Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer

– We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. 

10th OCTOBER 2023

On October 7th, a historic and devastating series of events unfolded in Palestinian-Israeli history. Hamas initiated an operation known as “Al-Aqsa Flood,” launching thousands of rockets from Gaza into Israel and breaking through the electronic boarder barrier, causing the loss of hundreds of Israeli lives, and the taking of several Israelis as captives including women and children, into Gaza. In response, Israel declared “Operation Swords of Iron,” involving a brutal and continuous aerial attack on Gaza that claimed hundreds of lives. and various acts of aggression in the West Bank, resulting in the deaths of several Palestinians. The true extent of the recent events’ damage remains unknown, marking the beginning of a period of immense suffering.

Ÿ Heavenly Father, as this period of violence and bloodshed unfolds, we pray for Your justice and mercy. We pray for all who are suffering. We lift up all innocent people in particular the people of Gaza who are vulnerable and helpless to the Israeli airstrikes. May we remember that the recent events are connected to the long history of the Nakba and Israeli systematic oppression against the Palestinian people. Lord, only a just and lasting solution will end the cycle of violence. We call on the international community to work towards this end.

Lord in Your mercy…hear our prayer

Next week, Kumi Now Online will focus on how governments, companies, and individuals are profiting from the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine. The Israeli military-industrial complex has turned the occupied Palestinian territory into a testing ground for advanced weaponry and surveillance technology, which it exports worldwide. Indeed, capitalism and the oppression of Palestinians are linked, making the Palestinian suffering a commodity for some.

Ÿ Lord Christ, we remember how you flipped the tables of the money changers and expelled the merchants of the livestock in the temple. Today, the corruption and den of thieves are seen in the various ways people profit from Palestinian oppression. We pray for Your justice to reign; bring judgment to greed, theft, and exploitation.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer

From the 29th of September to the 6th of October, Jews around the world celebrated Sukkot (known as the Feast of Tabernacles). Sukkot is a weeklong holiday that celebrates the gathering of the harvest, the giving of the Torah, and the protection God provided. During Sukkot many Israelis take the opportunity to provoke Palestinians in the old city of Jerusalem. This year many Christians were spat on and harassed by religious Israeli Jews.

Ÿ God of creation, we lift up the Palestinian farmers as they gather their harvest, and we ask Your blessing for our Jewish friends who have celebrated Sukkot. We are angry as we witness Jerusalem’s transformation from a city of tolerance and love into one marked by Jewish supremacy and hatred. May our collective efforts in pursuing justice in Jerusalem yield a harvest of peace and flourishing.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer

On September 26th, a devastating fire swept through a wedding hall located in Qaraqosh, a town in northern Iraq. This tragic event claimed the lives of at least 107 individuals and left 150 others injured. The incident was a profound tragedy that deeply affected the entire Middle East, especially the Christian community of Qaraqosh since the majority of the people attending the wedding were Assyrians Christians.

Ÿ Loving God, we pray for the 107 individuals who lost their lives in the tragic fire, and we ask that you embrace them in your loving arms. For those injured, grant them strength, both physical and mental, as they navigate the path to recovery. In Your name, we pray for healing and restoration for the city of Qaraqosh and its Assyrian community.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 4th of October, the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem as a part of their annual Christian Zionist conference titled “King of the Earth”, held a Jerusalem march for thousands of Christian Zionists from all across the world. In response, Sabeel went to the march and handed out pamphlets which showed the unjust realities Palestinians face and the theological misinterpretation of Christian Zionism.

Ÿ God of inclusivity, we pray that through the presence of Sabeel and the pamphlets, You awaken the Christian Zionists to their theological blindness that is causing harm to so many. We pray that Your holy name may no longer be associated with those who invoke it for unjust purposes. You, God, are the embodiment of love, justice, inclusivity, and mercy.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer

Ÿ We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer

2nd October 2023

Next week, Kumi Now Online will focus on mental health in Palestine. Mental health is one of the most significant health crises for Palestinians. According to several reports and studies, over half of Palestinian adults meet the diagnosis of depression and many Palestinian children suffer from mental distress. These mental health issues stem from the extreme exposure to violence, generational trauma, poor living conditions, restrictions of movement, and more. Sadly, post trauma treatment is limited since the trauma for Palestinians is ongoing. 

Lord Christ, You understand the mental distresses and struggles that many Palestinians experience and suffer from. The sorrow and anxiety that You experienced in the garden of Gethsemane is a lived reality for Palestinians. In Your name, we ask for strength, compassion, and healing for all Palestinians suffering from mental health illnesses. May the root cause of mental suffering in Palestine be uprooted by Your healing powers of justice.

 Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer.

On September 27th, six people were killed in two shooting incidents in the lower part of the Galilee region. The victims were two brothers aged 14 and 17, a mother in her 40s with her 25-year-old son, a family relative in his 20s, and a man in his 50s. Several investigations have been made to see if the two shootings were related. A total of 188 Palestinians have been killed this year in Palestinian towns in Israel, compared to 80 last year. 

Divine Creator, we come before You shocked, saddened, and angry. We pray for the families mourning the loss of their loved ones in the recent shootings, may they be met with Your compassion and loving heart. We know that the Israeli police are systematically neglecting Palestinian towns in Israel so that they may be festered with internal violence. We call for Your intervention. Protect Your children and guide us towards a more secure and just future.                                                                                                            

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer.

On the 22nd of September, A Palestinian teenager, Abdullah Abu Hasan was shot and killed by the Israeli forces during a raid near the city of Jenin. On the 24th of September, two Palestinian young men, Asid Abu Ali, 21, and Abdulrahman Abu Daghash, 32, were killed during the Israeli raid of Nour Shams refugee camp. 

God of the oppressed, every week we mourn the precious lives of young Palestinians. We are persistent in our prayers because You are a God who listens to our cries. Send Your Holy Spirit to comfort the families of the martyrs. May their blood cry out from the ground, bearing witness to the unjust reality in Palestine.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer.

This advent, Friends of Sabeel North America is launching a campaign called “Preach Palestine”. The aim of the Preach Palestine campaign is to work for the dismantlement of oppression and segregation, in Palestine and beyond, through prayer, a study series, film screenings, and a fundraising event.  

God of power and might, we thank you for our friends’ work and solidarity. We pray that through the Preach Palestine campaign, solidarity will grow and translate into support for the Palestinian people and other oppressed communities around the world. May Your gospel of liberation be proclaimed and celebrated.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer.

On the 29th and the 30th of September, Sabeel Jerusalem held an ecumenical training workshop in Beit Sahour for facilitation of Bible Studies. This workshop consisted of Palestinian clergy and biblical study experts who equipped the participants with valuable tools for Bible study facilitation. 

• Emmanuel, You are the Word made flesh, the God who is with us. We pray that the Sabeel workshop will assist the participants as they proclaim the Word and illuminate the gospel of liberation. May we continue to liberate the Bible from theological heresies such as Christian Zionism and reflect on the Holy witness of the Bible to our Lord Jesus Christ.  

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer.

On the 22nd of September, Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the UN General Assembly held in New York regarding the potential peace accord with Saudia Arabi and the alleged threat posed by Iran on Israel. During his speech Netanyahu completely ignored the existence of Palestine. Throughout Netanyahu’s stay in New York, thousands of people, amongst them many Jews, protested Netanyahu and advocated for a free Palestine.

• Resurrected Christ, the distortion of truth and attempts to erase Palestine were on full display in the UN General Assembly. Yet, the voices of truth and insertion of Palestine’s existence was seen outside the UN and on the streets. We come before you, asking for guidance to be wise as serpents and innocent like doves in our struggles to liberate Palestine and confront oppression.  

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer.    

– We join the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer.

28th September 2023

Next week, Kumi Now Online will concentrate on nonviolent resistance in Palestine. Nonviolent resistance is a powerful and historically significant means of challenging injustice. Nonviolent resistance represents a form of empowerment, creativity, and resilience among individuals and communities who may lack the conventional sources of power and authority.

Ÿ All powerful God, bless those who choose the path of nonviolent resistance, for they seek justice without perpetuating hatred. May their actions inspire change, compassion, and reconciliation. Let us resist creatively against sinful powers, working towards the redemption of our world.                                                                 Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer  

On September 19th, Azerbaijan initiated an “anti-terrorist operation” within Nagorno-Karabakh. Following the assault, Azerbaijan and Armenia swiftly reached a ceasefire agreement, and they are scheduled to convene for peace negotiations. According to a former leader of the regional administration, nearly 100 individuals were killed, with hundreds more sustaining injuries, including civilians, as a result of the attack.

Ÿ Heavenly Father, we ask for your divine intervention in this conflict. Let your love and mercy prevail over hatred and division. May the spirit of reconciliation and justice be present in the peace talks, leading to a lasting and just peace. We pray for all our Armenian friends who are affected from the conflict.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer

On September 19th, over 24 hours, Israeli occupation forces tragically claimed the lives of six young Palestinians in a military operation spanning various locations within the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Reports indicate that Israeli forces launched an invasion into the Jenin refugee camp, unleashing several missiles that struck multiple residences. Moreover, the Israeli army hindered the access of ambulances and medical teams to attend to the wounded.

Ÿ Merciful God, we hold onto the belief that you hear the cries of the oppressed. We remember how Jesus wept and we believe is still weeping for the young Palestinian lives lost by sin. We cry out for Your intervention. Bring justice, liberation, and judgement in Palestine-Israel and have mercy on the families of our martyrs.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer    

On the 26th and 27th of September, Bethlehem Bible College and Gurukul Lutheran Theological College will be collaborating for a conference titled “Indo-Palestinian Theological Conversations”. This conference hosted in Bethlehem will discuss theologies of liberation, colonialism, the relationship between India and Israel, and transnational solidarities.

Ÿ God of love, we ask for your blessings upon the discussions that will take place during this conference. May the insights and conversations lead to greater awareness and compassion for the struggles faced by oppressed communities around the world. May Your Holy Spirit help fostering connections that transcend borders and lead to meaningful actions.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer

Currently, there are over 5,000 Palestinian individuals incarcerated for political reasons. Among them are more than 1,200 Administrative detainees and 170 minors. Each of these Palestinian detainees endure harsh conditions and receive cruel treatment within Israel’s judicial system. One such case is that of Walid Daqqah, a 62-year-old Palestinian prisoner diagnosed with cancer. He is being denied critical life-saving treatment by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) who refuse to transfer him to a civilian hospital.

Ÿ Lord Christ, You, like many Palestinians, were wrongfully arrested and convicted by powers that portray themselves as agents of justice and truth whilst they are truly agents of injustice and deceit. God of the captives, liberate all those wrongfully imprisoned and have mercy on them as they endure brutal punishment and torture by Israel. We particularly pray for the situation of Daqqah who is suffering unimaginably.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer 

On the 15th of September, Sabeel in partnership with Bethlehem University organized a training workshop as part of the “Young Christian Leaders Project”. The workshop took place in the village of Haddad near Jenin and was attended by various scout groups from areas north of the West Bank. This training is the first of a series of future meetings.

Ÿ Resurrected Christ, we thank you for the efforts made for the young generation of Palestinian Christians. May these workshops cultivate leadership skills that will bear fruit in the near future and materialize into action. Grant the young Palestinian leaders wisdom, strength, and protection.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer 

Ÿ We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of  Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Peru.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayers

19th September 2023

Next week, Kumi Now will focus on Bedouin rights in Palestine. Palestinian Bedouins are a nomadic people who are a characterized by a semi-pastoral and agricultural lifestyle. Ever since the establishment of the State of Israel, many Palestinian Bedouins have been repeatedly ethnically cleansed and those remaining in Palestine-Israel experience daily violence. 

Ÿ Resurrected Christ, we pray for all Palestinian Bedouins who are suffering immensely from the State of Israel. Protect the way of life of Palestinian Bedouins who are under constant erasure by violent settlers and the State of Israel.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer    

On September 9th, Melad Al-Raei, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy was killed by Israeli occupation forces in the midst of clashes in Al-Aroub refugee camp north of Hebron. The Palestinian Authority health ministry reported that he was fatally shot in the back.

Ÿ Heavenly Father, we lament the news of the death of yet another young Palestinian. Bring comfort to Melad’s family and community. Bring an end to this occupation that results in the loss of life for so many.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer.

Following the controversial property deal in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City between the Armenian Patriarchy and Israeli settler organization, Sabeel is continuing to call for unity among Christians in the face of this challenge. Last week, Sabeel participated in the first of what will become weekly protests against the property deal. 

Ÿ Lord, we cry over the city of Jerusalem as You did. Bring unity by your Holy Spirit to all the Christian denominations in Jerusalem so that we may be a strong prophetic voice against sin.  

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer.

On September 7th, clashes between various groups in Ein el-Hilweh, the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, reignited. The violence resulted in 11 deaths, 2 of which were civilians, and 100 injuries. This incident follows a similar event from late July when another 13 people were killed in the camp.

Ÿ God of peace and refuge, we cry out in lament over the continued violence taking place in Ein el-Hilweh camp. Bring comfort to the families of those who were killed and healing to those injured. We plead for Your intervention to bring justice to all Palestinian refugees and allow them to return back to their homeland. 

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer.

In the past few weeks, Tamir Pardo, a former senior official of Mossad, described Israel’s actions in the West Bank as enforcing an “apartheid” system. Pardo has now joined the small but growing list of retired Israeli officials to speak out about the injustices being done to Palestinians.

Ÿ Lord, may the statements, confessions, and voices of those who proclaim Israel as Apartheid be heard in every corner of the Earth. Let the sins of Apartheid be exposed for the whole Earth to see, leaving no doubt how Israel is systematically oppressing Palestinians. We yearn to see Your justice flow like a mighty river, liberating all those under oppression.  

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer.

On Sunday, September 3rd, Sabeel-Kairos UK held the first of four webinars for their new online series, “Hope for Palestine.” On the first Sunday of the month, from now until December, they will host Palestinian speakers Marah Sarji, Jonathan Kuttab, and Dr. Yasser Abu Jamei.

Ÿ Father of all nations, we thank you for the work of Sabeel-Kairos UK. Bless their efforts and continue to strengthen the relationships between Sabeel and its partners worldwide.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer.

A death toll rising above 5,000 is reported from the north eastern city of Derna from catastrophic flooding in the wake of Mediterranean storm Daniel. The city lacked the infrastructure to withstand the 414.1 millimeters of rain that the city received from Sunday to Monday.

Ÿ Lord Christ, we pray for all who have lost loved ones and are suffering from storm Daniel and the lack of infrastructure in Libya. Safely guide the search and rescue teams who are working tirelessly to save lives and recover bodies. We also continue to pray for those in Morocco suffering the effects of the earthquake. May the international community increase their aid to the victims in Morocco and Libya.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer

Ÿ We join with the World Council in their prayer for the countries of Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayers

12th September 2023

Next week, Kumi Now will observe the International Day of Peace, which falls on Thursday, September 21st. Our focus will be on advocating for peace in Gaza. Following Hamas’ victory in the 2006 election, Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza which has created one of the worst humanitarian situations in the world.

• Lord, we lift up the precious people of the Gaza Strip who remain steadfast against all odds. We pray for the lifting of the Israeli blockade of Gaza to enable the people to live in dignity.

Lord, in Your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 5th of September, the human rights organization, B’Tselem, uncovered, in a report, how dozens of masked female Israeli soldiers, with dogs, entered homes belonging to the extended Ajlouni family in Hebron. During their raid, Israeli female soldiers forced five women to strip naked in front of their frightened children.

• Lord Christ, You are the protector of the vulnerable. We pray for the Ajlouni family who were humiliated by Israeli soldiers, especially the five women who were forced to strip naked. Lord, restore the dignity of the Palestinian people and convict the hearts of those who sin.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer

On September 5th, Israeli forces, with armored tractors, stormed the overcrowded Nur Shams refugee camp from several fronts. During their raid, A Palestinian young man, Ayed Samih Abu-Harb, aged 21, was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers.  

• Divine creator, we lament this news. We pray for the comfort of Abu-Harb’s family who have lost their precious grandson, son, and brother. We ask that our hearts will be filled with compassion, compelling us to be courageous by challenging the powers that are killing precious lives.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 3rd of September, fighting broke out between two Eritrean groups, and the Israeli police in south Tel Aviv. The fighting broke out due to an event organized by Israel and the Eritrean embassy, marking 30 years of independence. Critics of the Isaias government saw it as an attempt to celebrate a dictator’s rule. During the fights, Israeli police used brute force including firing live bullets. Over 100 people were reported injured and 19 are seriously injured. Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed his intention to expel all African migrants from Israel.

• God of all nations, we pray for our Eritrean brothers and sisters who are suffering for several reasons, amongst them, the racism of Israel. We pray for recovery to those who are injured. May all those suffering from Israel’s racist policy stand with one another in solidarity.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer

During world week of peace (between the 16th to the 23rd of September), Friends of Sabeel Australia and other organizations will be conducting worship services, educational events, and acts of support in favour of just peace for Palestinians and Israelis.

• Benevolent God, we thank you for the efforts of Friends of Sabeel Australia and the other organizations that are acting for the goals of justice, liberation, and peace in Palestine-Israel. We pray that these efforts will be blessed by Your Holy Spirit. We also pray for our indigenous brethren in Australia who still suffer from colonialism.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 9th of September, a devastating earthquake struck Morocco. It has been reported that more than 2,000 people are killed, and the toll is expected to rise as rescuers struggle to reach hard-hit remote areas. Many of the areas suffering from the earthquake are not built to withstand such force, making the damages catastrophic.

• Lord Christ, we lift up the people of Morocco who are undergoing a national tragedy. We pray for comfort for those who have lost their loved ones and strength to those fighting for their lives. We pray for all the rescue workers as they try to save every precious life still stuck in the rubble of the fallen buildings.

Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer 

• We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Ghana and Nigeria.

 Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer

5th September 2023

Next week, Kumi Now Online will shed light on how the illegal Israeli occupation has harmed the city of Bethlehem. The economy of Bethlehem has suffered significantly due to its confinement by the Apartheid wall, which severely limits the freedom of movement for Palestinians. Additionally, this situation has had an adverse impact on the religious practices on both Christian and Muslim Palestinians, as they are unable to visit certain Holy sites.

Lord Christ, we pray for the city of Your birth whose residents are suffering from the realities of being occupied by a foreign ruler. This is something you are familiar with. As Kumi Now Online shines a light on the challenges brought about by the unjust Israeli occupation, we humbly ask for your mercy and intervention. May the barriers that enclose Bethlehem be dismantled and replaced by bridges of compassion.                         Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer

Three weeks ago, Agzaya al-Kar’aan, aged 51-year-old, was deported to the blockaded Gaza Strip after 32 years of living in Israel under the pretext that she does not have Israeli residency. Al-Kar’aan was forced to leave behind her 12 children, the youngest of whom is eight years old. This decision by Israeli authorities was made in a matter of hours. Thankfully, Al-Kar’aan was able to return to her family shortly after.

Divine consoler, we pray for Your Holy Spirit to comfort Al-Kar’aan and her family. We lift up their suffering and sadness to Your merciful heart. May we remember all Palestinian families who are separated because of Israel’s cruel policies and hope that Al-Kar’aan will be to remain permanently with her family.                                                        Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer

In the past few weeks, Swimmers from all over the world took part in the ‘SwimWithGaza’ campaign, which aimed at raising awareness of the evil siege imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip. They participated in their thousands from all around the world holding banners in support of Gaza.

God of power and might, we thank you for their dedication, their selflessness, and their determination to bring awareness to the plight of those suffering. May their united message spread across the world and more people join in solidarity for the Palestinian people.                                                                                                                                          Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 30th of August, hundreds of Google employees and pro-Palestine activists participated in a demonstration in San Francisco, California, in solidarity with the Palestinian people. This demonstration calls for the end of the company’s contract with the Israeli government and army which helps maintain the system of Apartheid in Palestine.  

Heavenly Father, bless the efforts of the various tech workers and supporters of Palestine who peacefully raised their voices to advocate for justice, equality, and human rights. May their demonstration multiply and expand to more cities.                        Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer

On the 30th of August, Sabeel Jerusalem held a meeting with Jerusalem activists and leaders of Palestinian Churches. In this meeting, discussions were made regarding the reality of Palestinian Christians in Jerusalem in light of recent attacks against Christians and land sales by several Christian Churches to settler organizations.  

Resurrected Christ, grant those who attended the meeting wisdom, discernment, and the strength to address the reality of their situation. May they be light and salt of the earth through their actions and leadership. We pray that these meetings be translated into actions which witness to Your goodness and mercy.                                                         Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer

Last Friday and Saturday, Sabeel Jerusalem held a bazaar in honor of the Assumption of Mary. In the Bazaar, Palestinian Christians from Jerusalem and surrounding areas sold and celebrated Palestinian culture, food, and their native Christian practices. This was intended to revive a dying tradition surrounding the Assumption of Mary in Jerusalem.

Eternal God, we lift up the recent Sabeel bazaar held in honor of the Assumption of Mary, where the vibrant spirit and tradition of Palestinian Christians was exhibited. We thank all those who participated, volunteered, and organized the Sabeel bazaar. May this initiative inspire more Palestinian Christians to celebrate their identity through their culture and tradition.                                                                                                               Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer

We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo.                                                                                                                    Lord in Your mercy… hear our prayer

23rd August 2023

Next week, on the 29th of August Kumi Now will reflect on art as resistance. Art has always been a powerful channel for human expression, capable of transcending boundaries, defying oppression, and bearing witness to the struggles and aspirations of individuals and communities. In Palestine, art has long played a role in providing a voice to the voiceless and articulating the Palestinian condition.
 
Ÿ Dear Lord, we come before you with hearts full of gratitude for the remarkable creativity and unwavering strength of Palestinian artists. We pray for more artistic endeavors to serve as a beacon of hope and a call to action, compelling the world to stand together in support of justice and the inherent dignity of all people.
 Lord in Your mercy…


On Tuesday the 15th of August, Israeli forces invaded Aqabat Jabr refugee camp in the city of Jericho and shot 16-year-old Qusay Al-Walaji and Mohammed Nujoom, 25-years-old. Al-Walaji and Nujoom eventually died from their wounds. This brings the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces so far this year to 216.

Ÿ Heavenly Father, we lift up our prayers for the families of Al-Walaji and Nujoom. May your gentle comfort and boundless mercy encircle them in their time of grief. We collectively mourn their loss and pray that the root cause of their deaths be addressed and eliminated.
Lord in Your mercy…


On the 7th of August, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich refused to release NIS 200 million (around $55 million) for economic development in Palestinian municipalities in Israel. Moreover, Smotrich announced a five-year freeze of funds amounting to hundreds of million dollars to the development of East Jerusalem. At the same time Smotrich has allocated more funds to the building of more illegal settlements.

Ÿ Lord Jesus Christ, we come before you in a time of concern and uncertainty, seeking guidance, wisdom, and compassion. We pray for the Palestinian communities that will be affected directly by the recent actions by the Israeli government and we pray against the expansion of illegal settlements.
Lord in Your mercy…

For the past few weeks, a total of 13 Palestinian detainees remain on an open-ended hunger strike. This is in protest of their unfair administrative detention under Israel’s so-called administrative detention policy. According to B’Tselem, 2023 has been the year with the most Palestinians in administrative detention since 2003.

Ÿ God of liberation, we pray for strength and justice for the 13 Palestinian detainees who are enduring an open-ended hunger strike. We lift them up in our thoughts and prayers, their courage is a testament to the human spirit’s unwavering dedication to justice and freedom.
 Lord in Your mercy…

It’s truly wonderful news that Rev. Dr. Ateek is visiting Palestine and Sabeel Jerusalem from the United States this week. Rev. Dr. Ateek’s legacy as one of the founders of Sabeel and the father of Palestinian Liberation Theology has left a lasting impact amongst Palestinians, Internationals, Palestinian Theology, and many other areas. The land of Rev. Dr. Ateek’s origins eagerly anticipates the return of one of its esteemed native sons.

Ÿ Gracious Lord, we ask for blessings to accompany Rev. Dr. Ateek’s journey. May his travels be safe and his interactions be infused with your wisdom. May his reunions with family, friends, and the Sabeel staff be filled with joy and meaningful connections.
Lord in Your mercy…


The famous Greenbelt Festival is scheduled between August 24th to 27th. This event will feature various Palestinian voices and initiatives, including Muna Nassar, a representative of Sabeel-Kairos UK. Muna will be presenting on the main stage at Greenbelt in front of thousands of attendees. Additionally, three participants from the recent Sabeel Young Adult conference will share their insights about their involvement with Sabeel and their experiences related to Palestine.

Ÿ Divine Creator, we pray for Muna Nassar. May her words be a bridge that connects hearts, fostering empathy and a deeper appreciation for the struggles faced by the Palestinian community. Bless all those involved with Sabeel-Kairos UK, where the work of Sabeel-Kairos UK and Sabeel Jerusalem will be showcased. May this space radiate with the light of compassion and education, illuminating the path toward justice and equality for all.
Lord in Your mercy…


Ÿ We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for Liberia, Sierra Leone. Lord in Your mercy…

AUGUST 17TH 2023

Next Tuesday the 22nd of August, Kumi Now will reflect on the Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism, issued on the 22nd of August, 2006. This declaration was jointly written by several Palestinian Christian leaders addressing the implications and theological corruption of Christian Zionism. Christian Zionism perceives Palestinian presence as an obstacle to God’s plan and believes in the divine sovereignty of Jews in the whole land of Palestine, promoting an exclusivist, violent, and racist theology.

  
•            Lord Jesus Christ, give us the courage to challenge any attempts to distort Your Holy word for the sake of oppression and supremacy. We pray that those who have been misled by Christian Zionism to repent and be true witnesses of Your love.
Lord, in Your mercy…


Last Sunday, Thousands of Palestinian and Jewish-Israelis protested in what is called “The March of the Dead”. This was a joint call on the Israeli government to combat the spiralling violence amongst Palestinian communities in Israel, that has claimed 141 lives so far this year. The Israeli state has systematically neglected and removed funds to address the needs of the Palestinian communities in Israel.


• Heavenly Father, we pray for those families who have lost their loved due to the violence in Palestinian communities in Israel this year. We pray for the end of this violence and are grateful for the recent joint protest by Palestinians and Israelis.         Lord in Your mercy…


On Friday the 4th of August, A mob of armed Israeli settlers stormed Burqa east of Ramallah, torching at least two cars and opening fire at Palestinians who were there. Qusai Jamal Ma’atan, aged 19, he was shot dead by the armed settlers and four other Palestinians were wounded. This marks another death of a young Palestinian by armed settlers this year.

 
•            Lord, we lament another death of a young Palestinian by armed settlers. We pray for Ma’atan’s family who are grieving their loss and pray for the recovery of the Palestinians who were wounded. Lord in Your mercy…


In the past few weeks, a petition has been circulating among Jewish academics, practitioners, and public figures titled “The Elephant in the Room”. This petition Supports the Israeli protest movement, yet calls on it to embrace equality for Jews and Palestinians within the Green Line and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Moreover, the petition demands from elected leaders, institutions, and governments around the world to confront “The Elephant in the Room”, which is the injustices committed by Israel against the Palestinian people.

 
•            Dear Lord, we are thankful for our Jewish brethren who showcase their solidarity with the Palestinian people through this petition. We pray that more academics, practitioners, and public figures, follow this petition and discuss the injustices Palestinians face. Lord in Your mercy…  

 
This week, one of our senior sabeel staff members, Sawsan Bitar, will be part of a small committee of Palestinian Christian leaders planning the annual retreat for all Palestinian clergy from Palestine/Israel. This retreat aims to foster ecumenicism and collaboration for all Christian churches in the land.

 
•            Dear Lord, we thank you for all individuals, organizations, and initiatives who strive for ecumenicism, justice, and peace within the Holy land. We pray for wisdom, discernment, and protection over all those participating in the clergy retreat and in the planning committee. Lord in Your mercy…  


This week on Tuesday the 15th, Sabeel will be launching Kathleen Christison’s new book titled “Justice on the Cross: Palestinian Liberation Theology, the Struggle against Israeli Oppression, and the Church”. This book surveys several Liberation Theologies before exploring more deeply Palestinian liberation theology, illuminating the powerful and contextual prophetic voices around the globe.
•            Gracious God, we thank you for Kathleen’s book which witnesses to the message of hope and liberation that was fulfilled by Christ. We pray that the message of her book spreads across the globe and reaches all people, especially those suffering from oppression. Lord in Your mercy…  

•             We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayer for the countries of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger. Lord in Your mercy…

August 10th, 2023

Next week’s Kumi Now will mark August the 19th as World Humanitarian Day. On this day we advocate for humanitarian aid workers and for all those affected by crises around the world. Simultaneously, we call for attention regarding the massive cuts in humanitarian aid to Palestinians and for the suffering of refugees living in Gaza, Syria and the Lebanon now living in dire need. 

Lord, we pray for all those working in humanitarian aid, and we pray for the end of the Israeli occupation and for the right of return for all Palestinian refugees forced from their land.
Lord, in your mercy…

In the last month, Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq announced his withdrawal from his seat in Baghdad after Iraqi President Abdul Rashid revoked a decree recognizing him as head of the Christian Church in Iraq. Cardinal Louis Raphaël Sako of Baghdad is currently living in a self-imposed exile in Kurdistan. Patriarch Sako declared that it is part of a bid to wrest control of the Church’s assets and thus left Baghdad in protest. Patriarch Sako is a devout Christian leader of the East and is known for his stand on justice issues in Iraq.

Heavenly Father, we are thankful for Bishop Sako and the work of the Church in Iraq. We pray for justice and peace to reign in that region and we ask that Bishop Sako to be encouraged by Your presence and our solidarity.
Lord, in your mercy…  

Last week, Sabeel held a meeting with various Christian communities in Jerusalem. During the meeting, testimonies of steadfastness, hope, and courage were heard. Moreover, there was a sense of urgency to act regarding the various difficulties faced by Christian communities in Jerusalem to form a strategical plan of cooperation.

  • Lord, we pray that through the work of Sabeel with the various Christian communities in Jerusalem they will become witnesses to Your justice and mercy. We pray that our Palestinian people in Jerusalem will continue to work for freedom and justice despite the harsh realities and temptations of collaborating with the occupation.
    Lord in Your mercy…

Last week, two Palestinian boys, Mohammad Farid al-Za’areer and Mahmoud Abu Sa’n were killed by Israeli forces. Mahmoud Abu Sa’n, was killed from point blank range at the Nour Shams refugee camp, east of Tulkarm.  Mohammad Farid al-Za’areer was killed near the illegal Israeli settlement of Shim’a close to Hebron. According to local Palestinian sources Za’areer was one of the top students in his class and had just finished the 9th grade.

  • Lord, we pray that You comfort the families of Mohammad Farid al-Za’areer and Mahmoud Abu Sa’n as they grieve their loss. We pray for the end of the occupation which continues to take so many young Palestinian lives.
    Lord in Your mercy… 

Over the last couple of weeks, clashes between Palestinian armed groups broke out in the refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh in the coastal city of Saida. At least 11 people have been killed and 40 wounded, hundreds of Palestinian refugee residents have fled the camp for their safety.

  • God of the oppressed, we pray for the Palestinian refugees of Ain al-Hilweh camp who are suffering from the clashes and the inhuman conditions in the Palestinian refugee camps. We pray for right of all refugees to be acknowledged, especially their right of return to their homes.
    Lord in Your mercy…

On the 27th of July, Israeli forces raided Palestinian farmland in occupied Hebron with bulldozers and poured concrete into the water sources to stop agricultural irrigation in an area that serves 25 families. This marks another incident in a long assault on Palestinian agriculture and water sources this year.

  • Lord, we pray for the Palestinian families and farmers who continue to be deprived from their right to water. We continue to pray for an end to the Israeli military occupation and for the rights of our people to be respected. 
    Lord in Your mercy…

Last week, the World Youth Day (WYD) occurred in Portugal. WYD is a gathering of young people from all over the world with the Pope. It is also a pilgrimage, a celebration of youth, an expression of the universal Church and an intense moment of evangelization for the youth of the world. Although its Catholic identity is clearly evident, WYD opens its doors to everyone, no matter how close to, or distant from the Church they are. This year over 150 young Palestinian Christians are participating in this event.

  • Loving and Gracious God, we come before you with hearts full of gratitude and hope. We thank you for the gift of youth and the opportunity to celebrate. We lift up the 150 young Palestinian Christians who join us in this pilgrimage. Bless them with strength, courage, and your unwavering presence as they navigate their journey. May this World Youth Day be a beacon of light, spreading love, understanding, and compassion in a world often divided. Inspire us to carry the spirit of this gathering into our lives, fostering unity and kindness.
    Lord in Your mercy…

– We join the World of Council of Churches with their prayer for the countries of Cameroon, Central African Republic and Equatorial Guinea.
Lord in Your mercy…

3rd of August 2023

Next week’s Kumi Now will mark the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People which falls on the 9th of August. There is much evidence to establish the indigenous status of Palestinians on their land. Decades of loss and oppression under the Israeli occupation link them to the sufferings of other indigenous people.

•                                   Lord we pray for the indigenous populations of the world as they raise their voices and hold on to their distinct and diverse identities in the face of colonial oppression. Lord, in your mercy..

•                                   Merciful and loving God, we give thanks that when the Sabeel General Assembly met on Friday, the 28th of July, they granted their approval to the 2022 Sabeel Reports. ‘We give thanks for the many blessings you have so graciously given us. Thank you for your presence and guidance as we walk the way of peace. Lord, in your mercy..

About fifty Israeli settlers arrived in buses at the Mar Elias Monastery and church on Mount Carmel, near Haifa with the intention of breaking into the church and reciting Jewish prayers. A similar attempt had been thwarted earlier in the week. This time Palestinian worshippers prevented the settlers from disrupting services and made them retreat. Officials are now considering setting up perimeter gates to stop future incursions.

•                                   Lord, we cry out to you as we see more and more settler attacks on churches in Israel/Palestine as settler groups become emboldened by the present Israeli government. Lord, in your mercy..

Aljazeera have just screened a film by Jerome Evans entitled, Weaponising Water in Palestine, (27.7.23). It reveals how the Israeli occupation and the climate crisis have made Palestinians some of the most water insecure people in the world. Decades of Israeli occupation have left Palestinians struggling to access clean water. Israel now controls a majority of the freshwater resources in the occupied West Bank. While most of the water supply in Gaza is now unfit for human consumption.

•                                   Lord, we pray for all those in the occupied Palestinian Territories and Gaza suffering water shortages which threaten their health and livelihood. We pray for an equitable use of resources to enable the needs of all to be met. Lord, in your mercy..

Early on Thursday morning, on the 27th of July, a 14-year-old Palestinian boy, Fares Sharhabeel Abu Samra, was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier. Confrontations had broken out in Qalqilya in the occupied West Bank after the Israeli army had started to raid the area. The military claim they are investigating his death, but the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din recently revealed that less than one percent of Israeli soldiers accused of harming Palestinians are ever charged with crimes.

•                                   Lord, we pray for the family and friends of Fares as they grieve their loss. Our hearts cry out to you as we witness so much bloodshed and the loss of so many young Palestinian lives under the Israeli occupation. Lord in your mercy..

Last weekend three Palestinian women from three different Palestinian cities, Nazareth, Jerusalem and Jenin spoke in the Newcastle area. They will visit eight UK locations to speak about how their lives are impacted by the Israeli occupation in the

‘Building Hope and Voices for Palestine’ Tour, sponsored by UK activists.

•                                   Lord, we give thanks for the courage of these three Palestinian women who have  undertaken the difficult journey from their homes to give their testimonies in the UK. We pray that many will be inspired by their courage to shine a light on the injustice and oppression in Palestine/ Israel that  politicians so desperately try to hide. Lord, in your mercy..

Four Gaza fishermen were detained by Israeli naval gunboats about three nautical miles off the al Sudaniyya coast, northwest of Gaza City on Monday, the 24th of July. The fishermen, all from the Bakr family, were arrested  and taken to Ashdod and their boat was seized. On the same day seven Israeli military vehicles, including bulldozers and tanks, crossed borders east of Khan Yunis, in southern Gaza and destroyed agricultural land.

•                                   Lord Jesus, we turn to you as we lament the plight of those living in Gaza, trying to eke out a living on the land and sea without sufficient resources as a result of the 16-year-old blockade and constant Israeli military attacks. Lord, in your mercy..

•                                   We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Republic of Congo, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe. Lord, in your mercy…

27th of July, 2023

Next week Kumi Now will look at Israel’s use of collective punishment against Palestinians. The Fourth Geneva Convention outlawed the use of collective punishment and yet Israel still implements this form of punishment without drawing down international condemnation. The blockade of Gaza, home demolitions, forcible transfers, restricting entry permits and night raids are all routine policies carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinians. Such discriminatory policies are defended by Israel as ‘necessary to its security’.

·         Lord, we pray that international organisations and individuals will continue to shine a light on Israel’s use of collective punishment against Palestinians, in violation of international law. Lord, in your mercy..

Aljazeera’s recent documentary, “Shooting the Messenger’, (19.7.23), focuses on how journalists are being targeted by the Israeli army. Since 2000 more than 55 journalists have been killed and many others seriously wounded. Israel claims that its troops are engaged in an ‘act of war’ and protects the identities of Israeli soldiers who cause death or injury.

·         Lord, we pray for journalists who risk life and limb to disclose the violence and injustice suffered by Palestinians under the Israeli occupation. We pray that any violations of international law committed by the Israeli army will be thoroughly investigated by the International Criminal Court and that any targeting of journalists and failing to protect them will be exposed and condemned. Lord, in your mercy..

Almost 90,000 students across the Palestinian Territories, including 5,200 students in Jerusalem, are celebrating the release of the results of their Tawjihi, or matriculation exams. Sadly, not every Palestinian family is celebrating as some are grieving for the six Tawjihi students who were killed by the Israeli army this year. The students were named as: Mahmoud Al-Saadi, Mohammad Turkman, Majdi Arrawai, (all from Jenin) Wadi’ Abu Ramoz(from Jerusalem), Ahmed Daraghmeh, (from Tubas) and Osama Adawi, (from Hebron).

·         Dear Lord, we pray for the family and friends of these students as they mourn their young lives cut short by the Israeli occupation. At a time of general celebration across Palestine help us to remember the deep sadness of these grieving families. Lord, in your mercy..

Last week Nikodemus Schnabel, an abbot in the Benedictine Order of the Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem was approached by an usher at the Western Wall and told to remove the cross he wears over his robes, as she deemed it was ‘a provocation’. At the time Schnabel was escorting the German Education Minister to an awaiting car after she had visited the Jewish holy site. He stated that this incident was symptomatic of the growing number of verbal and physical attacks he had recently experienced in the city, saying, ‘there have been many spitting attacks on me, verbal attacks, people who really push me.’ In the holy city for three religions, Christians, Moslems and even some Jews no longer appear to be welcome.

·         Lord, we pray for the holy city of Jerusalem as we see a dark climate of abuse and disrespect start to take a grip. Lord, in your mercy..

On Thursday, the 20th of July, two armed Israeli settlers broke into the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, laid blankets and possessions down on the ground and announced they would remain there. When they were asked to leave by a church official they became abusive and shouted racist insults. The church has been caught up in legal battles with settler organisations which stake claims to the site of the church land.

·         Lord Jesus, we cry out to you as we see Christian churches in Jerusalem under frequent attacks as the effort to force Christians out of the city intensifies. Lord, in your mercy..

It is now over a year ago since Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist, was shot dead during an Israeli military raid on Jenin. Dozens of US human rights’ groups are now urging Congress to pass a bill which would require the public reporting on the circumstances surrounding her death. Independent experts working for major media outlets have all concluded that Shireen was shot by an Israeli soldier.More than a hundred members of Congress have called for a thorough US-led investigation that results in accountability for those found responsible for Shireen’s death.

·         Lord, we pray that the circumstances surrounding Shireen’s death last year will be thoroughly investigated and openly reported. We pray that the US government will stand by its legal and moral obligations to ensure that its funding to the Israeli government does not support human rights abuses against Palestinians. Lord, in your mercy..

·         We join with the World Council of Churches in its prayers for the countries of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. Lord, in your mercy..

20th of July, 2023

Next week’s Kumi Now will address the issue of family reunification among Palestinians. Israel’s stance on recognizing the right of Palestinians to family unification has been a contentious matter, leading to various obstacles for Palestinian families seeking reunification. One significant challenge is the annexation of East Jerusalem, which has created a political border separating numerous Palestinian families in the West Bank. Israel’s imposition of a rigid family unification policy not only conflicts with the norms of Palestinian society but also establishes a separate system for Palestinians, contrasting with the comparatively easier process for Jewish citizens. These actions by Israel against family unification among Palestinians are driven by political considerations, which are inappropriate according to international law governing occupied territories.

•                     Heavenly Father, we pray for the Palestinian families who endure discrimination and separation. May Your love bring comfort to those affected by the separation and convict those responsible for inflicting oppression. May our hearts be filled with lamentation, compassion and determination to continue to work for justice and human rights. Lord, in Your mercy… hear our prayer.

On the 11th of July, the Soblaban family was forcibly displaced from their home in the Old City of Jerusalem after a prolonged legal battle with the Israeli courts. They had to watch as their home was taken over by Israeli settlers, an action deemed illegal under international law. Regrettably, their story is not an isolated incident in Jerusalem, and sadly, more such incidents are likely to occur in the near future.

•                     Lord, we pray that the cries for justice from the Soblaban family will be heard. May their tears one day be wiped away, replaced by joy. We beseech those with attentive ears to listen to the pleas of the oppressed. We also express gratitude to those who protested against the eviction and stood in solidarity with the Soblaban family. We continue to pray for an end to the Israeli military occupation and freedom for our Palestinian people. Lord, in Your mercy… hear our prayer.

Sabeel remains busy this month with various projects and new developments. In collaboration with Bethlehem University, Sabeel held a one day leadership training among scout groups in Ramallah and neighboring areas. Additionally, Sabeel has recently welcomed two new staff members, Evon Bajjali and Samuel Munayer, who will support the ongoing projects of Kumi Now and Sabeel initiatives.

•                     Lord, we seek Your wisdom and guidance for Sabeel as it undertakes its project with Bethlehem University. Dear God, may the young people who work with Sabeel grow into leaders within their own communities. May Your light, like seeds on fertile soil, nurture their development. We also pray for a smooth transition for Evon and Samuel at Sabeel, that they may become instruments of Your witness through their work in the different Sabeel projects. Lord, in Your mercy… hear our prayer.

In a lawsuit filed in June, B’nai Brith, a Jewish human rights group, is seeking $35,000 in damages from Rabbi David Mivasair, a long-time anti-Zionist activist in Canada. The claim made by B’nai Brith alleges that Rabbi Mivasair made numerous tweets, including labeling B’nai Brith as “racist” and promoting “anti-Palestinian hate.

•                     Lord, we pray for Rabbi David Mivasair, asking for strength and encouragement. May the Canadian judicial system recognize the truth and act accordingly. We pray that all falsehoods be exposed and consumed by Your light, while the resilient voices for justice in Canada remain steadfast and continue to grow. Let us remember that setting our minds on the Spirit brings life and peace. Lord, in Your mercy… hear our prayer.

The devastation caused by military and settler attacks on Jenin Refugee Camp still reverberates. The Israeli attacks on Jenin in the Occupied West Bank, which lasted approximately 48 hours from both the air and ground on July 3rd, are considered the most significant destruction in the region over the past 20 years. Once again, Palestinians from Jenin Refugee Camp have been displaced from their homes, exemplifying that the Nakba continues to this day. Furthermore, instances of damage to property and agricultural lands by Jewish settlers against Palestinians have intensified throughout the Occupied Territories this year.

•                     Lord, we pray for our Palestinian people who continue to suffer from Israel’s attacks, particularly in Jenin. May the steadfastness and love of the Palestinians who have endured these attacks serve as a testament to Your love and expose the evil of colonialism. O Christ, we implore You for restoration. Lord, in Your mercy… hear our prayer.

•                     We join the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Djibouti and Somalia. Lord, in Your mercy… hear our prayer.

13.7.23

 This week’s Kumi Now will consider the impact of Israel’s separation wall, also known as the apartheid wall. The illegality of the separation wall under international law was acknowledged by the UN resolution, (ES-10/15) passed on July 20th, 2004. And yet Israel continues to construct the wall, now over 700 km long. Most of the wall has been built on annexed Palestinian land and it cuts off many communities from their agricultural land, from neighbouring communities and from access to services. It has confined Palestinians to live in isolated areas, reminiscent of the Bantustans of the apartheid regime in South Africa.

•    Lord Jesus, we pray for those suffering violence and oppression living under the Israeli occupation. We pray for your light to shine in their darkness and for hope for those living in the shadow of death. Lord, in your mercy…

Friends of Sabeel North America will be hosting a nine day witness trip to the Holy Land with Sabeel from Saturday, the 8th of July until Monday, the 17th of July. The tour will be led by Jonathan Kuttab, international human rights lawyer and Executive Director of FOSNA together with Nyle Fort, a minister and Assistant Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University, New York.

•    Lord, we pray that the participants in the FOSNA tour will be led to share all they have witnessed on their return home. We pray they will be inspired to work for non-violent change to establish a just and lasting peace in Palestine/Israel. Lord, in your mercy..

Sabeel’s ninth Young Adult’s Conference will take place in Jerusalem from the 18th-27th July. The conference will feature the work of various organisations, including

Kairos Palestine, Bethlehem Bible College, Dar al-Kalima and Sabeel. Ways of extending the Kumi Now initiative to an international movement will be explored.

•    Lord, we pray that the young adults attending this conference will be inspired in their future work for peace advocacy by following the principles of inclusivity, justice and non-violence. Lord, in your mercy…

Residents of the Jenin Refugee Camp are taking stock of the full devastation caused by the large scale Israeli military operation carried out on the 3rd and 4th of July. Twelve Palestinians were killed by gunshot wounds or air strikes, including five children. One hundred and twenty Palestinians were wounded, including twenty with critical injuries. One Israeli soldier was killed in the attack. Four thousand refugees were displaced from the crowded camp, which is home to fourteen thousand refugees. Entire streets, sewage, water and electricity networks were destroyed when Israeli bulldozers were sent into the narrow alleyways to make way for Israeli army vehicles.

•    Lord, we pray for all those who were bereaved in the Israeli attack and for recovery for those who have been seriously injured. We pray for the thousands of refugees who were terrorised by the military assault. It will have revived bitter memories of the Nakba for many refugees as, yet again, they are left homeless and destitute. Lord, in your mercy..

On Thursday, the 6th of July, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres condemned Israel’s excessive use of force in its attack on Jenin in the occupied West Bank. He called on Israel to, ’abide by its obligations under international law’ to, ‘exercise restraint and use only proportional force’. He went on to state that the use of airstrikes in a densely populated area is, ‘ inconsistent with the conduct of law enforcement operations’.

•    Lord, we pray that the Israeli government will pay attention to the UN condemnation and stop the escalation of violence and bloodshed. We pray that Israel will fulfil its duty as the occupying power to ensure the civilian population under its authority is protected against acts of violence. Lord, in your mercy..

On the 30th of May, 2020, Iyad Hallaq, a 32-year old Palestinian man with autism was shot dead by an Israeli policeman in the Old City of Jerusalem. Even though the policeman was told of the Palestinian’s disability, he still went ahead and shot him. Initially the policeman claimed Iyad had been holding a suspicious object, but he later acknowledged that Iyad was unarmed. Last week the Israeli District Court in Jerusalem acquitted the policeman from any wrongdoing and simply stated that he had ‘acted recklessly”.

•    Lord, we bring Iyad’s family and friends before you and pray for them as they grieve over his violent death. We are deeply saddened that Israeli judicial system has not given any redress for this extrajudicial killing. Lord, in your mercy..

•    We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Eritrea and Ethiopia. Lord, in your mercy..

6th of July 2023

Next week Kumi Now will mark the date of the launch of the Palestine Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, (BDS), on the 9th of July, 2005. The BDS movement seeks to inform the public about ways in which international corporations are profiting by their support for the Israeli occupation in various ways, such as their help in the construction of illegal settlements in the West Bank.

 •    Lord, we pray that more and more people around the world will stop investing in companies whose products and services are used to violate Palestinian human rights and to contravene international law. Lord, in your mercy…

Kjartan Ruset, a Norwegian advocate for a just peace between Palestinians and Israelis, has just died. After he met the founder of Sabeel, the Anglican priest Naim Ateek, Kjartan was inspired to set up Friends of Sabeel, Norway, which later became the group known as Sabeel Kairos, Norway. His work on the steering committee between 2001-6 did much to raise greater awareness about the difficulties facing Palestinian Christians under the Israeli occupation.

 •    Dear Lord, we give heartfelt thanks for the advocacy work for Palestinians carried out by Kjartan in his native country of Norway. We pray for his family and friends as they mourn his loss. Lord, in your mercy..

The former Lutheran World Federation President, Bishop Munib Younan, has been awarded an honorary doctorate and the Order of the White Rose in Helsinki, Finland.

He received the award for his work as a religious leader and for his service in support of Palestinian Christians. A collection of articles written by international academics has just been published to celebrate his life’s work.

 •    Lord, we give thanks for the dedication and tireless advocacy given by Bishop Younan.   We thank you for his perseverance over many years and for his repeated calls for righteousness and justice for Palestinian Christians. Lord, in your mercy..

On Wednesday, the 28th of June, Jonathan Kuttab’s new book entitled, ‘The Truth Shall Set You Free’ was launched. The Executive Director of Friends of Sabeel North America  and Palestinian human rights lawyer writes about his personal journey from anger at the injustices he witnessed in his work to a deep commitment to peaceful activism.

 •    Lord, we pray for your continued guidance and support for Jonathan Kuttab in his legal work, his work for Sabeel and his writing. We thank you for his commitment to promoting a just peace in Palestine/Israel. Lord, in your mercy..

We are deeply saddened by the death of Maysoon Asadi Masri, a prominent Palestinian writer at the age of sixty. Maysoon was a highly influential figure in the literary world, both for her captivating storytelling, as well as for her literary reviews. She supported other local writers and artists by featuring their work in local newspapers and other publications. She also contributed articles for Sabeel’s ‘Cornerstone’ magazine.

 •    Lord, we mourn the early death of Maysoon, may she rest in peace. We also want to celebrate her artistic legacy and pray that she will inspire many other young Palestinian writers in the years to come. Lord, in your mercy …

On Wednesday, the 21st of June, relatives of the Ahmad family in the village of Turmus Ayya were busy preparing for a family wedding. A number of them were getting ready in a room in the courtyard of the family home. However the celebratory atmosphere suddenly turned to terror when more than four hundred armed Israeli settlers raided the village, setting fire to homes and cars, throwing rocks and threatening the residents. One young Palestinian and father of two children, Omar Qattin, was killed in the raid. Young Palestinians helped the Ahmad family to escape from danger, but the damage to their home was extensive. The young couple were later married before just a few family members with ‘no singing and no joy’.

 •    Lord, we pray for Omar’s family and especially for his wife and young children as they grieve his loss. We pray for the Ahmad family who had been planning their wedding for sometime, only to have their celebrations turned to ashes by the settler raid. We pray for all those whose lives have been devastated by the escalating violence, the shootings, arson attacks and physical assaults. Lord, in your mercy..

•    We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda. Lord, in your mercy…

29th of June, 2023

This week Kumi Now considered Israel as a nuclear power. Next Tuesday marks the halfway point in the Kumi Now calendar. It gives us an opportunity to take stock and look back over the issues covered in the first half of the year by referencing the Kumi Now calendar on the website.

  •  Lord, we give thanks for the faithful perseverance of those who continue to challenge the injustices Palestinians suffer living under Israeli occupation. May they know the light of your presence as they seek to fight oppression with nonviolent means. Lord, in your mercy..

On Friday, the 23rd of June, the High Commissioner for the United Nations, Volker Türk, spoke out about the Israeli raid on Jenin refugee camp on Monday night . He stated that, ‘the violence risks spiraling out of control, fueled by strident political rhetoric and an escalation in the use of advanced military weaponry by Israel.’ Israeli helicopter gunships were deployed in the Jenin raid, which left seven Palestinians dead and more than ninety seriously injured.

  •     Lord, we pray that the Israeli government will heed the UN warnings to scale back its military raids and use of heavy weaponry which is causing many Palestinian deaths and casualties. Lord, in your mercy..

A day after the deadly Jenin raid Palestinian gunmen retaliated by killing four Israeli settlers at a petrol station not far from Nablus. Only hours after that incident Israeli settlers took revenge into their own hands by storming through Palestinian towns, torching property and smashing cars. The Israeli authorities were slow to respond to these outbreaks of  settler violence and there was widespread damage to properties, terrorizing Palestinian residents  and one Palestinian, Omar Qattin, was killed by Israeli army fire.

  • Lord, we pray for the family and friends of Omar who lost his life during a violent settler attack. We cry out to you, Lord, as we see more and more revenge attacks between Palestinians and Israelis in an escalating cycle of violence  We pray that the Israeli authorities will  stop illegal Israeli settlers  from causing mayhem in the occupied West Bank. Lord, in your mercy…

Eid al-Adha is the most important feast in the Moslem calendar and it will be celebrated for several days in Palestine, beginning on Tuesday, the 27th of June. One of the main traditions practiced during this festival is the charitable giving of food, money and clothes to the poor.

  •  We pray for Moslems as they gather together with their family and friends to celebrate during this festival. We are thankful for the care they take to provide support for those less fortunate than themselves. Lord, in your mercy…

A fifteen-year-old Palestinian teenager, Sadil Ghassen Turkman was caught up in the Israeli Jenin raid on Monday night. During the assault she was critically injured when she was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier. Sadly, she died just two days later.

  •  Lord, we pray for those who grieve for the violent and untimely death of Sadil, as well as for those who mourn the deaths of the other Palestinians. We pray for an end to these frequent raids, presented by the Israeli government as enforcing law and order, but leading instead to more Palestinian deaths and the provocation of violent retaliation. Lord, in your mercy..

On Sunday, the 18th of June, hundreds of protestors turned out in the city of Haifa to demonstrate against the targeting of St Elias’ Church and Monastery by Israeli extremists.

The religious extremists had entered the church on Thursday and prayed out loud there, claiming they had a right to do so as the tomb of a Jewish figure lies in the church courtyard. They were ejected from the church by a young Christian from Haifa. The Israeli police took no action against the irreverent actions of the extremists, but arrested and interrogated the young Christian claiming he had assaulted them. Residents from Haifa, Christian Clergy and Moslem Imams joined the protest in solidarity with one another.

  • Lord, we are deeply saddened by the frequent attacks by Israeli religious extremists on Christian and Moslem sacred sites across the Holy Land. We pray that the Israeli authorities will respect the sanctity of these religious places and stop giving support to the extremists bent on profaning them. Lord, in your mercy…

•    We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Kenya and Tanzania. Lord, in your mercy..

22ND of June, 2023

Next week’s Kumi Now will look at Israel as a nuclear power. Israel neither denies nor admits to owning nuclear weapons, but is thought to have 80-90 nuclear warheads. It has declined to sign the Treaty for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, (NPT) and has never allowed the International Atomic Energy Agency, (IAEA), to supervise its nuclear production.

•    Lord, we know that nuclear weapons are so powerful and could unleash untold damage in our world. We pray that Israel would admit to its nuclear power industry and sign up to international agreements to limit its production and supervise its handling of weapons. Lord, in your mercy…

The Israeli army has stated that the soldier who fatally wounded two-year-old Mohammad Tamimi in Nabi Saleh, on the 2nd of June, will not face any disciplinary action. Nor will the soldiers who bound and gagged eighty-year-old Palestinian/American Omar Asad at a temporary checkpoint in the occupied West Bank, in January 2022. Omar suffered a cardiac arrest brought on by the stress of physical violence. The Israeli soldiers who detained him left him unresponsive on a construction site, claiming they assumed he had fallen asleep.

•    Lord, we pray for the families of Mohammad and Omar as they mourn their violent deaths. We pray for these Palestinian families and many others who face their bereavement, knowing that those responsible for their sorrow will not face any consequences for the crimes they have committed. Lord, in your mercy…

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, (UNRWA), is struggling to fulfil its mandate to provide services to 5.9 million Palestinian refugees living in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Cuts in donor funding and rising costs are throwing the agency into crisis. Staff teams across the West Bank have just returned to work after a month-long strike over salary reductions.

•    Lord, we cry out to you as we watch the world turn away from the gathering crisis of more and more Palestinians born into refugee status, living their lives as refugees and dying as refugees. We pray for an end to their confinement and the implementation of a just solution to their problem according to UN resolution. Lord, in your mercy…

A growing number of children living in Gaza are suffering ‘ongoing trauma’ according to a recent Save the Children report. In less than eighteen years they have experienced Israeli bombings and attacks during fifteen military operations. Thousands of people have been killed in the enclave and there is no escape for those who remain. Children make up almost half the population in Gaza and many of them experience high levels of anxiety leading to frequent bedwetting, lapses in concentration and difficulties in communication.

•    Lord, the lives of children in Gaza are blighted by poverty, warfare and trauma.

  • We pray for an end to this suffering and the inhumane Israeli blockade of the Gaza strip. Lord, in your mercy..

Weekly protests have been held by the Armenian community in Jerusalem over alleged secret land sales by their Patriarch Archbishop Manougian to Israeli investors in East Jerusalem. The disputed land sale would make up about 25% of the Armenian Quarter in the Old City and would result in loss of property to the population of several thousand Armenian Christians who live in the area.The Palestinian Authority and the Jordanian government have now intervened to try and revoke the disputed contract and protect the Armenian community.

•    Lord, we pray that any secretive deals over Armenian community land in the Old City may be cancelled.  We pray that attempts to drive out Christians and Moslems from the Old City will be resisted and that Jerusalem will remain a place where Christians, Jews and Moslems can continue to live and worship at their holy sites. Lord in your mercy…

Last week the Russian Embassy in Israel announced that it will be building a branch office in West Jerusalem to serve its consular section. About 15% of Israel’s population is made up of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Israel welcomed the announcement as it is keen to increase the number of foreign missions in Jerusalem, hoping other countries will recognise it as its capital.

•    Lord, we pray that international leaders will consider carefully before opening foreign missions or embassies in Jerusalem, lending credence to establishing it as Israel’s capital city  and threatening any future peace process with the Palestinians. Lord, in your mercy..

Sabeel is meeting with a partner organisation to discuss setting up a year-long review of the Palestinian educational curriculum. It carried out a partial review in 2018 and passed on its findings to the Palestinian Ministry of Education. The new project will assess the inclusiveness of the curriculum and will propose ways in which education could draw  communities together in mutual respect and understanding.

•    Lord Jesus, you came to the earth to bring us abundant life and to bring it to us all. We pray that those undertaking the review of the Palestinian curriculum will be guided by your grace to help draw together young people from diverse backgrounds to learn to respect their differences and to be unified in their desire to love and serve one another. Lord, in your mercy…

•    We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Malawi and Zambia. Lord, in your mercy..

15th of June 2023

Next Tuesday, the 20th of June, marks World Refugee Day and on that same day Kumi Now will consider the plight of Palestinian refugees. In 2021 there were 5.9 million Palestinian refugees registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and about one third of them live in 58 refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

  • Lord, we pray that Palestinians will be granted the right of return to their homeland, the right affirmed to them by the United Nations over seventy years ago. Lord, in your mercy..

The Rev. Ann Coburn died on Wednesday, the 7th of June, in Oakland, California. Ann was ordained in Danbury, Connecticut in 1977, just one year after the Episcopal Church opened the priesthood to women. She was a strong advocate for Palestinian rights and travelled to Palestine linking with Sabeel on numerous occasions. This year she received the Cotton Fite award, in recognition for her services as Director of Fundraising for the Episcopal Peace Fellowship Palestine Israel Network.

  • Lord, we give thanks for the life and service of Ann Coburn and pray for her family and friends as they mourn her loss. Many friends of Sabeel expressed their sorrow at her passing at the weekly Sabeel Online Service. They particularly paid tribute to her kind and thoughtful nature and her steadfast pursuit of justice and peace in Palestine. Lord, in your mercy..

In a strategic partnership between the We Choose Life group, Dar Al-Kalima University (Palestine), the Civil Influence Forum (Lebanon), Masarat for Cultural and Media Development (Iraq), and Al-Sabeel (Palestine), a regional consultative panel on religious and public affairs was launched on Tuesday, the 13th of June. It took place over two days, under the title: ‘Stopping the politicisation of religion and the religiosity of politics’ Twenty-one experts from Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq participated in the discussions.

  •   Lord Jesus, our good shepherd, you told us that you came to the earth ‘so that we could have abundant life,’ (John 10:10). We pray that the recent forum, inspired by the document written by Middle Eastern Christians entitled ‘We Choose Abundant Life’, (2021) will inform new policies to help overcome a culture of violent conflict and death. Lord, in your mercy…

Late on Wednesday evening, the 7th of June, the Israeli army entered Ramallah to demolish the home of a Palestinian accused of planting two bombs in Jerusalem last November. Hundreds of Palestinians gathered to protest over the army’s presence in a Palestinian city over which it has no jurisdiction.  A Palestinian news photographer, Moamen Sumreen, who was wearing a clearly marked Press jacket, was observing the demolition from a rooftop when he was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier. Another photographer, Rabih Al-Munir was also injured, shot in the abdomen.

  •   Lord, we pray for Moamen and Rabih and for the others injured in Ramallah on Wednesday evening that they may recover fully from their gunshot wounds. We pray that the Israeli army would hold their soldiers accountable for shooting at journalists carrying out their work and other bystanders. Lord in your mercy…

Two well-known Palestinian activists were summoned for interrogation by the Palestinian Authority security forces last week. Azmi Shuaibi and Izam Haj-Hussein run a non-governmental organisation, (AMAN), focused on accountability. Their latest report has shed light on Mahmoud Abbas’ Office at the Palestinian Authority. They have produced evidence which shows that dates produced in illegal West Bank Israeli settlements were being marketed as Palestinian dates to avoid the boycotts imposed on settlement goods.

  •  Lord, we pray that the Palestinian AMAN activists will continue their work holding those in authority to high standards of integrity and accountability. We pray that they will be released by the Palestinian Authority and that any corrupt practices will be stopped. Lord, in your mercy..

The Israeli Prison Services, (IPS) has summoned Palestinian administrative detainees and put them under pressure to refuse to participate in hunger strikes. The Committee of Administrative Detainees has called for hunger strikes to start on Sunday, the 18th of June. Since the beginning of this year more than 1,300 administrative detention orders have been issued by the IPS.

  •  Lord, we pray for Palestinians detained in Israeli military prisons on administrative detention orders, without charge or trial. We pray for an end to this inhumane treatment which drives some prisoners to starve themselves to the point of death. Lord, in your mercy…
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Botswana and Zimbabwe. Lord, in your mercy..

June 8th 2023

Next week Kumi Now will focus on the issue of how tourists coming to Palestine/Israel can make ethical choices in the way they travel. Some tourists remain unaware of how Israel has annexed the tourist industry. It restricts tourist access to Palestinian sites, favours Israeli tour companies and disseminates propaganda to justify its position as an occupying power. In 2019 Amnesty International published its report ‘Destination Occupation’ which exposed how illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory were being promoted as tourist venues by Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia and Trip Advisor.

  •  Lord, we pray that tourists will make careful choices when undertaking visits to the Holy Land and especially that they will select tourist companies that refuse to profit from illegal Israeli settlements. Lord, in your mercy…

On Thursday, the 1st of June, an Israeli soldier shot a two-year-old Palestinian boy in the head and injured his father while they were sitting in their car parked in the village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah. The Israeli army claim they opened fire in response to gunfire towards the nearby Neve Tzuff settlement. The boy is now in a critical condition in Sheba Hospital, while his father was taken to a hospital in Ramallah.

  •   Lord, we pray that doctors will be able to save the life of this Palestinian toddler and help his injured father. We pray that the Israeli army, who is in the West Bank as an occupying army, will show restraint. Lord, in your mercy…

This week the Israeli Parliament has advanced two bills that would bring Palestinian schools and their staff in Israel under increased scrutiny from the Israeli security services.

One bill will require the Education Ministry to carry out more stringent security checks on Palestinians training to be teachers, while the other bill will make it much harder for candidates to obtain a teaching licence.

  •   Compassionate Lord, we bring before you all Palestinians with a vocation to teach. We pray that they may continue to work with passion and dedication, whatever repressive measures are passed by the Israeli government. Lord, in your mercy…

There has been a recent outbreak of unbridled violence in the Nablus area by Israeli settlers against Palestinian communities. Settlers in Qusra, south of Nablus, set fire to Palestinian farming land and the fires spread over a wide area; while north-west of Nablus, in the village of Burqa, near the Homesh settlement, Israelis smashed gravestones in one of the village cemeteries.

  •   Lord, we are deeply grieved as we witness the suffering caused to Palestinians by Israelis living in illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. We pray for an end to this cycle of violence and an end to the Israeli occupation. Lord, in your mercy..

A number of Palestinian activists have recently been arrested by the Palestinian Authority.

Human rights organisations and local communities have condemned these arrests as an assault on freedom of speech in Palestinian civil society.

  •   Lord, we pray for Palestinian activists who have the courage to point out iniquities, may their right to freedom of expression be fully respected by those placed in authority over them. Lord, in your mercy…

Asif Al Rifai is a twenty-year-old Palestinian prisoner from Kafr’ Ein, near Ramallah. He has been suffering from cancer since the age of sixteen. Despite his serious state of health he was arrested in September 2022. Since then his condition has deteriorated, but he was denied chemotherapy treatment by the Israeli prison authorities until just recently when they relented.

  •    Lord, we pray for Asif as he undergoes treatment for his extensive cancer. There are twenty three other Palestinian prisoners suffering with cancer in the Israeli military prison system. We pray that they may all have access to the medical treatment they need so urgently. Lord, in your mercy..

Canadian Friends of Sabeel are organizing an online Remembrance Service for Fr. Robert Assaly, co-founder and long time chair of Canadian Friends of Sabeel. Fr. Robert passed away on March 26 2023 after a short battle with cancer. The event is scheduled on Saturday, June 10 from 11:00 am – 12:15 pm eastern time (Canada time zone) ( 6:00 PM, Jerusalem time). 

Please register at this link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIlcuCvrzMiH9y5AlYPsyeuFiANr5lyJWV6  

·         Gracious Lord, we come before you with hearts filled with gratitude for the remarkable life and inspiring example of Fr. Robert Assaly. We humbly ask that your comforting Spirit remains with his family, friends, and loved ones, who still bear the deep ache of his absence. Lord, in your infinite mercy, grant them solace, strength, and peace in the midst of their grief. Lord, in your mercy..

  •  We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Eswatini. Lord, in your mercy…

1st June 2023

Next week Kumi Now will consider the devastating environmental impact the Israeli occupation has had on Palestine, as we mark World Environment Day on Monday, the

1st of June. Illegal Israeli settlements, military zones, the apartheid wall, the dumping of industrial toxic waste, the diversion of water resources have all been part of the exploitation of Palestine by Israeli authorities over the past seventy years.

•    Lord, our Creator, we cry out to you over the environmental damage in Palestine caused by the Israeli occupation. We pray for an end to the occupation, an end to this devastation and an end to the human rights violations suffered by the Palestinian people. Lord, in your mercy..

On Friday, the 2nd of June, Kairos Palestine will host Patriarch (emeritus) Michel Sabbah to a public forum at Dar Al Kalimeh University in Bethlehem. Patriarch Sabbah will be leading a discussion about how to bring about a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

•    Lord, we give thanks for Patriarch Sabbah and his tireless advocacy for justice and peace in Palestine. We pray that you will continue to give him deep understanding and insight into ways of resolving the conflict. Empower him with your Spirit and help him to share your wisdom and bring hope in the face of adversity. Lord, in your mercy…

Last week BADIL Resource Centre and Kairos Palestine gave an online presentation of a joint document entitled, ‘Palestinian Christians- ongoing forcible displacement and dispossession.’ This document builds on their initial joint study which was published in 2012.

•    Lord, you are our strength and shield, we cry out to you as more and more Palestinians are losing their homes and livelihoods under the Israeli occupation. The situation is dire and many are forced to leave the land they love. We pray that your church across the world will wake up to the crisis facing our Palestinian brothers and sisters and speak out in their support. Lord, in your mercy..

Last week Sabeel, in collaboration with Bethlehem University, organised a leadership training workshop for young leaders from five different groups in Jerusalem, including the Greek Orthodox Arab Scouts, Melkite Church Scouts, Arab Catholic Scouts, Armenian Scouts, and the Syrian Orthodox Scouts.

•    Thank you, Lord, for this opportunity for the young Palestinian scouts from different denominations to meet together to join in leadership training and to get to know one another. We pray that they may make friends and overcome cultural barriers as they acquire new skills and broaden their horizons. Lord, in your mercy..

Shadi Khoury attended his court hearing on Sunday, the 21st of May. It was alleged that he participated in a demonstration on the 22nd of October 2022, a charge he denies. The first prosecution witness was Bara, a fifteen-year-old Palestinian boy. He surprised the court when he denied any prior knowledge of Shadi and withdrew his previous confession to the police, stating that it was obtained under coercion. Another court session has been set for the 23rd of October and Shadi will remain under house arrest.

•    Lord, we give thanks for Shadi and his family and for Bara’s courage to withdraw his false witness against Shadi. We pray for patience and resilience for Shadi as he passes through this long period of confinement. Lord, in your mercy..

•    Lord, we pray for all Palestinian students preparing to take their Tawjihi or General Secondary Education Certificate. Many students will have been studying hard over the past months and we pray that they will acquit themselves well in their final examinations. Lord, in your mercy…

•    We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Angola and Mozambique. Lord, in your mercy…

May 25th, 2023

This week’s Kumi Now online gathering focused on how Palestinians are working to preserve their culture and history.

Next week, on Tuesday, the 30th of May, the topic will be the high number of child fatalities in Palestine. Defense for Children International Palestine monitors these fatalities and records widespread Israeli military violations against Palestinian children living under occupation.

  •  May the Palestinian people find strength in their shared history, drawing from the wisdom and resilience of their ancestors. May their cultural heritage serve as a source of inspiration, unity, and resilience in the face of challenges and adversity. Lord in your mercy….Hear our prayers

Israeli occupation forces have used live fire and tear gas against Palestinians who joined a demonstration on the besieged Gaza Strip’s eastern border with Israel, injuring several Palestinians. The demonstration was held at the same time as far-right Israelis held a so-called ‘flag march’ in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

  •  Lord, the source of justice and mercy, In the face of injustice and oppression, we turn to You with heavy hearts, seeking comfort and strength. We raise our voices in prayer, as the cries of our people echo through the besieged lands of our occupied land Palestine. We come before You, the All-Knowing and All-Seeing, to beseech Your divine intervention and guidance to bring the Israeli military occupation to an end. Lord in your mercy….Hear our prayers

Although Israel has emerged as a global frontrunner in water management and technology, with notable achievements such as the groundbreaking project that commenced last year, channeling desalinated seawater from the Mediterranean to the receding Sea of Galilee, concerns have been raised by rights groups regarding the impact on Palestinians. The situation remains challenging as the Israel occupation maintains control over approximately 80% of water reserves in the West Bank, while both the West Bank and Gaza Strip confront acute water shortages.

  •  Lord, Ignite a fire within us all, a fire that burns for justice, that drives us to stand with the marginalized and oppressed. Grant comfort and resilience to the Palestinians who bear the burden of water scarcity, as their rivers and wells are controlled and diverted away. Embrace them with Your compassion, soothing their thirst for justice and quenching their longing for equality. Lord in your mercy….Hear our prayers

On May 18th, Sabeel Jerusalem hosted a Bible study at their office focused on the scripture reading of Jesus appearing to the two disciples in Emmaus. Led by Sister Ghada from the Rosary Sisters, the session aimed to deepen participants’ understanding of encounter, revelation, and hospitality. The interactive and inclusive study fostered engaging discussions and personal reflections, leaving attendees spiritually uplifted and inspired. The event successfully provided a space for communal reflection and growth in faith.

  •  Dear Lord, We recognize and honor the wisdom and leadership of women, who uplift and inspire us with their deep understanding of scripture and their commitment to fostering spiritual growth. May these gatherings continue to empower women, nurturing their spiritual growth and enabling them to be catalysts for positive change. Grant us the strength to create spaces where women’s voices are uplifted, where their insights are valued, and where their unique contributions enrich our understanding of Your teachings. Lord in your mercy….Hear our prayers

On Friday, the 19th of May, Sabeel, in collaboration with Bethlehem University, organized a one-day workshop aimed at enhancing the skills and capacities of Bible study group facilitators. The event brought together 17 leaders who actively participate in leading Bible study groups, enabling them to further develop their capabilities as Christian leaders. The one-day workshop covered a range of topics crucial for facilitating engaging and transformative Bible study sessions. The training sessions included practical exercises, group discussions, and guidance from experienced facilitators. Attendees had the chance to share their own experiences, learn from one another, and gain valuable insights and strategies for leading fruitful Bible study groups.

  •  Divine Creator, We humbly come before You, filled with gratitude and awe, to offer our prayers of thanksgiving for the courageous and dedicated female and young leaders who tirelessly dedicate themselves to uplifting the message of justice and liberation of the Gospel in Palestine. May Your divine presence guide and protect these leaders as they navigate their paths. Surround them with Your love, comfort, and strength, shielding them from discouragement and enabling them to persevere even in the face of adversity. Lord in your mercy….Hear our prayers

For the first time, a symposium marking the 75th anniversary of the Nakba was hosted at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO’s) Headquarters in Paris. The symposium was organized by the Arab Group of UNESCO in cooperation with the permanent delegation of the State of Palestine to UNESCO and in conjunction with the meetings of the organization’s Executive Council, during which two resolutions in favor of Palestine were adopted.

  •  Loving and Compassionate Creator, We gather in prayer, united in our hearts, to lift up all those who stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people. We give thanks for the individuals and groups who tirelessly work towards the application of international law and the preservation of human rights in Palestine. Lord in your mercy….Hear our prayers
  •  We join the World Council of Churches in praying for the countries of the Indian Ocean Islands: Comoros, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles. Lord in your mercy….Hear our prayers

18th of May, 2023

The Kumi online gathering on Tuesday, the 16th of May, focused on the ‘ongoing Nakba’ suffered by Palestinians who are displaced from their homes by Israeli annexation.

The UN celebrates World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on Friday, the 19th of May. Week 21 of Kumi Now will consider how tolerance and cultural diversity could hold the key to developing the dialogue necessary to achieve peace and sustainable development in the Holy Land.

·        Lord, you delight in diversity and creativity. Help us to find ways to reach out to those from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds with tolerance, trust and respect. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

Palestinians are commemorating the Nakba this week. May 15th reminds them of the catastrophe which began seventy-five years ago, in 1948 when five hundred and thirty Palestinian villages and towns were destroyed and over seven hundred and fifty thousand Palestinians were expelled from their homes and villages or fled for their lives. A whole generation of Palestinians have now been constrained to live out their lives as refugees.

·        God of love and justice, as we commemorate the Palestinian Nakba (May 15th) this week, our hearts break with the grief of 75 years of different forms of injustice and suffering in Palestine. Though our hearts break, we remain steadfast. Keep our courage and resilience strong and renew within the Palestinian people the will and the hope for strategic peaceful resistance to on-going abuses. Lord, we cry out that the continuing Nakba of Palestinian dispossession and suffering must end! We pray for all Palestinians at home and abroad, especially refugees driven from their homes in 1948, they still long to return to their rightful homes. How long, O Lord, will this continue?
Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Recent data from the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF), an Arab-Jewish NGO advocating for Bedouins in the Naqab Desert, show approximately 15,000 buildings have been razed in the last six years in the Bedouin areas of the Naqab. This year has already seen a sharp rise in demolitions with the Israel Lands Authority (ILA) distributing 450 demolition notices to residents across Naqab in February.

‘Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of the destitute,

Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.’ (Prov.31:8-9)

  • Lord, we pray for the Palestinian Bedouin villagers who see their homes bulldozed by the Israeli authorities, time after time. We pray that many people in Palestine, Israel and around the world will speak out for the rights of these destitute people to live undisturbed on their land, free from such relentless harassment. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

On Saturday May 13th, Israel and Islamic Jihad agreed to a ceasefire, after days of violence that have claimed the lives of at least 35 people – almost all of them Palestinians.

  • Lord, we thank you for all the people involved in the negotiations to bring about the ceasefire and to deescalate the mounting violence. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

The Israeli Government will advance a bill that could end funding for most East Jerusalem schools. The Co-sponsored bill by far-right lawmaker Simcha Rothman would ban funding for East Jerusalem schools teaching the official Palestinian curriculum, arguing that it includes ‘incitement to terrorism’.

  •  Lord, we are asked to deny ourselves and forget our narratives in order to receive our rightful funds! We pray for the steadfastness of our schools as they face financial crises to remain faithful to the message of education. Lord, evil tempts us with our own money but we know your will of truth and justice will be done. Lord in your mercy… 

The Israeli army ordered four Palestinian families to leave their homes in Hamsa al-Foqa in the northern Jordan Valley because the Israeli military intends to carry out exercises in that area, a local activist said on Tuesday. Rights groups said that the military drills are actually intended to drive Palestinians out of their homes and out of the occupied Jordan Valley as a whole, which Israel hopes to annex one day, and house it with Jewish settlers.

  •  Lord, we pray for an end to the constant harassment and disruption caused by the Israeli military to the lives of the Bedouin people in the Jordan Valley. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails conducted a one-day hunger strike demanding the immediate release of sick Palestinian prisoner Walid Daqqa and an end of the Israeli policy of solitary confinement. Daqqa is a Palestinian writer and activist who has been imprisoned by Israel since 1986.

  •  We pray for people around the world who are courageously choosing to resist injustice in creative ways, like hunger strikes. We pray especially for the Palestinian prisoners who are under administrative detention who have been detained without charge or trial. Lord please sustain all the hunger-strikers, and protect them. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
  •  We join the World Council of Churches prayer cycle and pray for the countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan and  Nepal. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

11th of May, 2023

This week’s Kumi Now online gathering looked at the US support for Israel. The US is providing vast amounts of military and economic aid to Israel. Israel is using that aid to oppress Palestinians with impunity. Next week’s Kumi Now will look at the ‘ongoing Nakba’. For Palestinians Saturday, the 15th of May will be the day they commemorate the catastrophe of the Nakba when thousands of Palestinians were forced to flee their homes. Present-day Israeli policies sustain a coercive environment which gives many Palestinians no option but to leave their homes and communities.

·        Lord, we pray for an end to the oppression and discriminatory policies forced on Palestinians by the Israeli authorities. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

On May 7th, Israeli authorities demolished Jibb Al-Deeb School, in the Palestinian village of Bayt Ta’mar, east of Bethlehem. The same school was demolished by the occupation authorities in 2017 but rebuilt shortly after by activists. Hours after Israeli forces demolished the school last week, Palestinian residents and activists rebuilt the school again which houses about 60 students from the first to the fourth grade.

·       Lord, we continue to pray for all the people who organize and engage nonviolence to bring justice to the people on the margins. May the witness of the different activists continue to inspire our people and especially the young people to commit to nonviolence. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayers.

For the 16th day in a row, the tourist city of Jericho in the occupied West Bank remains under a suffocating Israeli military siege, with checkpoints stifling Palestinian traffic on all the entrances to the city.

  • Lord, in our prayers we remember all Palestinian families who are forced to wait for hours at the checkpoints leading to and out of Jericho. We also remember all the business owners in Jericho who continue to incur financial losses as a result of these unjustifiable military closures. We continue to pray for an end of occupation and a stronger position from the international community to holding Israel accountable for its actions. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

A Palestinian child was injured by an Israeli rubber-coated round this afternoon in the town of Kafr Qaddum, in the occupied West Bank province of Qalqilia. The 12-year-old child was injured by Israeli occupation soldiers during an Israeli military operation in the town.

  • Lord, it is deeply shocking to witness the level of violence inflicted on children by the Israeli occupation army. We pray for the healing of victims, that they may recover physically and mentally from the abuse. We pray too for the perpetrators of the violence that they may have a change of heart and be held accountable for their crimes. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers

Israeli settlers destroyed about 258 olive saplings for Taysir Ali Ahmad, a Palestinian landlord in the town of Kafr al-Dik, in the occupied West Bank province of Salfit.

  •  Lord, we pray for the Palestinians living near the settlements who suffer harassment and destructive raids. We pray for an end to this violence and intimidation. We pray for an end to the occupation and a way forward which would bring peace, justice and stability to Israel/ Palestine. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.

Visually impaired Palestinian political detainee Izz al-Din Amarneh suspended his hunger strike after 12 days in protest of his detention without charge or trial by the Israeli occupation authorities. The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said Amarneh’s decision to suspend his hunger strike came as a result of an agreement with the Israeli occupation authorities to release him in upcoming October.

  • Lord, give us the power to stand in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners as they demand their basic rights. Give us the needed strength and courage not to abandon or shy away from their rightful demands. Remind us Lord, that you were once a prisoner when the powerful unjustly imprisoned you, and when your disciples abandoned you although they loved you. Lord in your mercy…Hear our prayers
  •  We join the World Council of Churches in praying for the countries of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayers

May 4th 2023

This week’s Kumi Now considered the threats of censorship and violence suffered by Palestinian journalists, as World Press Freedom Day is remembered on Monday, the 3rd of May. Next week’s Kumi Now online gathering will focus on the US support for Israel. The vast amount of  US military support  for Israel is used to harm Palestinians living in the Holy Land.

  • Lord, we pray that leaders around the world will reconsider their arms’ sales and the havoc and oppression caused by the use of this weaponry. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

Israeli occupation authorities have started plans to confiscate 70 Palestinian homes in the Old City of Hebron. Director of the Hebron Construction Committee Imad Hamdan said the Israeli occupation plans to hand over the Palestinian homes to Israeli settlers.

  • Lord, we pray for our Palestinian people as they continue to go through their ongoing Nakba. We pray that the use of religion and scripture by extremists to justify evil actions will end. May all people who follow claim to follow you surrender to your true will of justice and peace. We pray for the families facing the threat of eviction, the community of Hebron and all people of conscience that they use creative nonviolent action to defend the rights of the Palestinians. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

On April 28, 2023  Mustafa Amer Sabbah, a sixteen-year-old Palestinian teenager was shot and killed by the Israeli army’s live fire during confrontations that erupted in the village of Tuqu, West Bank district of Bethlehem.

The following day in  the same village of Tuqu, a number of Palestinian students suffered from suffocation from teargas inhalation when Israeli occupation soldiers attacked a school with teargas in the village.

  • Lord, We remember the family and friends of Mustafa as they grieve for their loss. We hold the Palestinian people in our prayers, especially our young people, as they continue to live under military occupation. May your spirit Lord guide us to expose all who are complicit and profiting from our suffering and dispossession. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayers

On Saturday, April 29th, Israel settlers assaulted two Palestinian siblings and stole their car near Ramallah, Westbank.

The settlers attacked Bassem and Wael Abu Harzan while plowing their land. The brothers suffered cuts and bruises before the settlers stole their car and left the area. The attack is part of numerous similar violations targeting the Palestinians, their homes, lands, and holy sites in several parts of the occupied West Bank.

  • Lord, we pray for Bassem and Wael’s speedy recovery. We pray that the persons who carried the violent attack and abuse will be held accountable and the car is returned to its owners. We pray that such actions are not tolerated nor justified at all by the Israeli community.  Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

Visually impaired Palestinian detainee Izz al-Din Amarneh has been on hunger strike for eight days in a row in protest of his detention without charge or trial by the Israeli occupation authorities. Amarneh, 52, a blind man from the town of Ya’bad in the northern West Bank province of Jenin, was arrested by the Israeli occupation authorities in February 2022, and has been held in administrative detention ever since. Amarneh has five sons and daughters. His two male sons, Ahmad and Mujahed, are also currently imprisoned by the Israeli occupation authorities.

  • Lord, we give thanks to all who speak truth to power and refuse to be silent. We pray that Israel will abandon its deceptive ways to control Palestinians in order to maintain its military occupation. We are thankful for the witness of the Amarneh family who continue to expose the evil of the Israeli military occupation even when they are behind Israeli prison bars. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

A pro-Palestine grassroots movement based in the UK, has set up a protest camp outside Elbit UAV Tactical Systems in preparation for the group’s siege on the Israeli arms factory. Activists have confirmed they plan to hold their positions until Elbit closes their weapons factory. From May 1, those in the camp are due to be joined by hundreds for the siege and to mobilize against Elbit’s business-of-bloodshed.

  • Lord, we continue to pray for all the people who organize and engage nonviolence to bring justice to the people on the margins. May the witness of the different activists continue to inspire people to commit to nonviolence. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayers.
  • We join the World Council of Churches this week and pray for: Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.  Lord in your mercy…hear our prayers.

27th of April, 2023

This week’s Kumi Now online gathering focused on the Nation-State Law which was passed in the Knesset on the 1st of May, 2018.

Next week’s Kumi Now looks at the threats of censorship and violence suffered by Palestinian journalists, as World Press Freedom Day is remembered on Monday, the 3rd of May.

 •            Lord, we pray for the Palestinian-Arab and other non-Jewish citizens of Israel, who make up a fifth of the population and yet who do not enjoy the same rights as Jewish citizens.  Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

The West Bank city of Jericho, which last year welcomed record numbers of tourists, was devoid of visitors this year as road closures and military checkpoints made travel all but impossible. Abdulkarim Sidr, the mayor, said that the racist policy of Israeli military authorities prevented many locals and visitors from reaching tourist places. “These closures are without any known reason, and there is no clear explanation,” he said.

  •  Lord, in our prayers we remember all Palestinian families who were forced to wait for hours at the checkpoints leading to Jericho. We also remember all the business owners in Jericho who incurred financial losses as a result of these unjustifiable military closures. We continue to pray for an end of occupation and a stronger position from the international community to holding Israel accountable for its actions. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

On April 23, 2023 Israeli settlers under army protection assaulted Palestinian herders while grazing their cattle in the area of Ein es-Sakout in the Jordan Valley and forced them to leave. Attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians are commonplace, but attacks on farmers and herders are particularly intensive in the Jordan Valley area. Most of these attacks usually occur in the presence of the Israeli occupation army, which usually does nothing to stop the attacks and rather provides protection for assailants.

  • Lord, we pray for the end of the Israeli military occupation that allows settlers to commit their crimes unpunished. We remember the shepherds and their livestock and all who suffer from violence as a result of the military occupation. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

On April 19th, Sabeel launched its book on antisemitism. The book titled “This Is Where We Stand: A Sabeel Reflection on Antisemitism” was in the making for the past 4 years with many participating in its making. We are thankful for all who participated in the launching especially our guests: Hana Bendcowsky, Rabbi Guy Alaluf and Fr. David Neuhaus.

 ·         Lord we give thanks for this successful event. We pray that all people will commit to fighting all forms of hate and discrimination regardless of their identities. Lord have your spirit guide Sabeel as we continue to engage in discussions around religious discrimination. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

This week we remember the many killed during the Armenian genocide, and particularly lift up the Palestinian Armenian community as they commemorate the genocide of 1915.

·         Lord, may the Armenian community around the world, and especially in Palestine, feel your presence and comfort. As we commemorate this massacre, enable us to recognize injustice wherever it occurs and empower us to act as ambassadors for peace. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

·         Lord we join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Lord, in your mercy… hear our prayers.

13.4.23

This week Kumi Now will focus on the topic of administrative detention as it marks Palestinian Prisoner Day (17th April). The Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem states: ‘Israel routinely uses administrative detention and has, over the years, placed thousands of Palestinians behind bars for periods ranging from several months to years, without charging them, without telling them what they are accused of or without disclosing the alleged evidence to them or to their lawyers.’

•    Lord, we pray for an end to the extreme and unjust Israeli policy of keeping  Palestinian prisoners incarcerated in military prisons, without charge or time limit. Lord, in your mercy..

Easter is the most important religious festival for Christians around the world.Palestinian Christians are commemorating the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus in the Holy Land during this time. The Roman Catholic and Protestant denominations celebrated Easter on the 9th of April, following the Gregorian calendar. Many Eastern churches, including the Greek Orthodox Church, will celebrate Easter on the 16th of April, after the Julian Calendar. At this time Jewish worshippers celebrated Passover and Palestinian Muslims will be continuing to observe their holy month of Ramadan.

•    We echo the words of the Rev Sally Azer, a Palestinian Lutheran pastor from Jerusalem in the recent Kairos Alert, ‘We ask you, Lord, to look at every sufferer with mercy and love. On this day, we especially pray for our Palestinian people, Christians and Muslims. We are still searching for stability and peace, for justice and freedom. Grant us, O Lord, to look into the future with hope.’ Lord, in your mercy..

Israeli police clashed with Palestinians for the second time at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on Wednesday, the 5th of April. These clashes broke out hours after the arrest and removal of 350 Palestinian Muslims by Israeli police. These confrontations at this highly sensitive time during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and on the eve of the Jewish Passover triggered rocket attacks from Lebanon and Gaza. The Israeli military then carried out retaliatory airstrikes in both areas.

•    Lord, we pray for calm and restraint from the Israeli authorities and especially that the freedom of worship at all religious sites in Jerusalem would be respected and upheld. Lord, in your mercy ..

Palestinians were attacked by illegal Israeli settlers in the Nablus and Bethlehem governates on Friday, the 7th of April. Settlers attacked Palestinian-licensed cars in the Huwwara and the Furush Beit Dajan area, as well as setting fire to greenhouses owned by local Palestinians. Settlers sealed off the southern entrance to al-Khader town near Bethlehem so they could attack Palestinian cars.

•    Lord, we cry out to you we hear of more and more settler attacks on Palestinians and their property. These lawless acts of aggression appear to be carried out with impunity. We see violence and oppression in Israel and pray for the restoration of justice and righteousness. Lord, in your mercy..

This week more than thirty UN independent experts asked Mr Karim Khan, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, to send out an urgent mission to investigate possible Israeli war crimes in Palestine. They expressed their concern for ‘the pervasive impunity and ever-deteriorating human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory owing to acts that may amount to widespread and systematic violations of international law.’

•    Lord, we pray that the United Nations will hold the Israeli government to account for breaches of international law and help them to establish a human rights based order to enable all residents of the Holy Land to live in justice and peace. Lord, in your mercy..

•    We join together with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. Lord, in your mercy…

 6th of April 2023

Christians around the world celebrated Palm Sunday last week. Many Palestinian Christians dress in their traditional clothes and hold palm leaf branches as they attend church services to mark the beginning of Holy Week.

•    Lord Jesus, humble and gentle one, you are our Saviour and King. Be not far from us and guide our feet into the way of peace. Lord, in your mercy..

Mr Ken Sparks, one of the leaders of Friends of Sabeel Australia for years, died peacefully in Brisbane on Monday the 3rd of April after a short struggle with cancer.

•           Lord we pray for the family of our friend Ken. We are thankful for his life and his commitment to the cause of justice and peace inside the church and in Palestine. May your spirit comfort us all who mourn the loss of a kind and special person and friend. Lord in your mercy… hear our prayers

On Thursday, the 30th of March, Palestinians commemorated the First Land Day, which took place in 1976. A general strike and marches had been organised in Arab towns to protest against the forcible seizure of large swathes of Palestinian land by the Israeli authorities. At that time the Israeli army shot six unarmed Arab Israeli protestors, wounded more than a hundred others and arrested many more in the ensuing clashes.

•    Merciful Lord, we bring the Palestinian people before you as they continue to endure suffering and oppression under the Israeli aggression. We pray that they will continue to hold onto their hope and vision for freedom from occupation and return to their homeland. Lord, in your mercy…

Sabeel will be hosting an Easter Service on the theme of the Resurrection on Tuesday, the 11th of April, at 5pm Palestine Time, (6pm Israeli Time). The service will be celebrated jointly by Rev. Dr. B. De Neice Welch and the Rev. Dr Naim Ateek. Dr De Neice Welch is Pastor of Bidwell Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh. Sabeel Jerusalem hosted a visiting group from Pittsburgh in early January this year.

•    Lord, we remember that at the end of all the suffering on the Way of the Cross, we have the hope of resurrection on Easter Day. We pray that the Sabeel Easter Service will sound a note of hopefulness in these dark days in the Holy Land. Lord, in your mercy..

Israeli police disrupted a football match between Balata Center and Jabal Mukaber football teams at the Al-Husseini International Stadium in the northern West Bank last Thursday evening. They fired a barrage of tear gas canisters which affected children and adult spectators, as well as players. The fans were forced to flood onto the pitch to avoid the tear gas attack.

•    Lord, we pray that those caught up in this assault will recover from the tear gas inhalation without suffering serious ill effects. We pray for an end to these unprovoked attacks on Palestinians by the Israeli army. Lord, in your mercy..

During the course of 2022 Palestinians living in East Jerusalem and the West Bank have suffered the demolition, or the seizure, of 953 of their buildings by the Israeli authorities.

Building permits are rarely, if ever granted to Palestinians living in Israeli-controlled areas and their homes then become targets for demolition orders.

•    Lord, we pray for Palestinian families, especially the children who have to witness their homes and schools torn down before their eyes. Lord, in your mercy..

B’Tselem has reported that a father of four children living in Gaza City has been denied a travel permit by the Israeli authorities, despite his critical state of health. Khaled Al Bahtini  has kidney failure and has been on dialysis for the past sixteen years. He now needs to attend al-Makassed hospital in East Jerusalem to undergo an artery transplant to enable him to continue with further dialysis. Repeated requests for travel permits since December 2022 have been turned down by the Israeli authorities.

•    Merciful Lord, we bring Khaled’s suffering and frustration before you as he awaits a travel permit to obtain life-saving treatment. We pray that the Israeli authorities will listen to requests from human rights organisations and grant the permit he so desperately needs. Lord, in your mercy…

•    We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of the Balkans: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia. Lord, in your mercy..

30th of March 2023

Next week the Kumi Now community looks at the plight of Palestinian children caught up in the Israeli military system. Under the Israeli occupation many Palestinian children have been left traumatised by night arrests and abuse in Israeli military prisons. When Palestinians remember Children’s Day on the 5th of April their thoughts will be clouded by this grim reality.

  • Lord, we pray that international governments and organisations will challenge the Israeli occupation over its abuse of the rights of Palestinian children for more than five decades.
    Lord, in your mercy..

It is with great sorrow that we share with you the sad news of Father Robert Assaly’s passing. He left us, this March 26th Sunday morning. His wife, Nancy, sent a message saying: “Robert has passed and is no longer suffering.  He is resting in peace.” Father Robert leaves behind his wife Nancy and children, Kristy, Ben, Justin, Bishara, Janan and Fedi, as well as his siblings and his mother, Gloria, along with countless friends and colleagues. Robert will be greatly missed at Sabeel and CFOS for his long term of service, his hours of dedicated work, his unfailing commitment and his passion to see justice reign.  He was a true friend to many.  Rest in peace, Father Robert.

  • Lord, we give thanks to the life and witness of Fr. Robert Assaly. We pray for the family and loved ones of Fr. Robert as they mourn his loss.  Fr. Robert always asked us to pray for the sick, especially the ones with no access to medical care, and the ones who are facing disease with no family and friends. Lord, comfort us all with your spirit, we are sad and bewildered.  
    Lord in your mercy… hear our prayers 

This week churches in Palestine and around the world celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, exactly nine months before Christmas. At this time we bring to mind Mary’s tender youth when she gave her assent to the momentous call of the Annunciation.

  • Lord God, we thank you that you loved the world so much that you sent your son to save us. We thank you for Mary’s humble acceptance of your call of motherhood.
    Lord in your mercy…

An independent United Nations Commission of Inquiry completed a second series of public hearings in Geneva last week. These hearings looked at human rights violations in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, with a special focus on attacks on human rights activists, lawyers and journalists. Colleagues and relatives of the former Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh were among those who gave evidence. The findings will be presented to the Human Rights Council in June 2023.

  • Lord, we pray that the UN will uncover the human rights violations being carried out by the Israeli occupation against Palestinians. We pray that the international community will act on their findings to challenge the Israeli occupation and give protection to the Palestinian people.
    Lord, in your mercy..

On Monday, the 20th of March, the Armenian Genocide Square was inaugurated in Haifa.
The Mayor of Haifa and the Armenian Ambassador to Israel gathered together with representatives from the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem and members of the Armenian community to remember the painful massacre of their forefathers in 1915.

  • Lord of all justice and truth, we pray for the Armenian people as they remember the  suffering of the genocide and exile inflicted on their people. May they be linked together in their suffering with other peoples who have endured oppression and may they hold onto the unquenchable hope.
    Lord in your mercy..

Two Jewish extremists broke into the Greek Orthodox Church of the Tomb of the Virgin Mary on Sunday, the 19th of March, while a service was being held by Archbishop Joachim. One of the men was holding an iron bar and they started to smash sacred objects and then attacked one of the priests attending the archbishop. They were stopped by some worshippers who held them until the police came.

  • Lord, we pray that all the attacks by Jewish extremists on Christian and Muslim places of worship and sacred sites will be thoroughly investigated and condemned. We pray that the Israeli authorities will work to protect sacred sites and put an end to any further provocation.
    Lord, in your mercy…
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Czech, Poland and Slovakia.
    Lord, in your mercy…

23rd of March 2023

Next week Kumi Now will highlight how the blockade has affected Gaza since it was fully  enforced by Israel and Egypt in 2007. The people have been denied access to most of the natural resources needed for their sustenance. It has been called the biggest prison on Earth.

•    Compassionate and merciful Lord, we bring the residents of Gaza to you as they try to survive amid poverty, unemployment and frequent military attacks from Israel. We pray for an end to the blockade and the restoration of life and health to this piece of your creation. Lord, in your mercy..

•    Lord Jesus, we ask you to draw near to a number of our friends from the Sabeel family who are suffering serious illness at this time. We pray for Robert Assaly from Canada, Ken Sparks from Australia and Jean Zaru, a founding member of Sabeel and ask for your comforting and healing hands to hold these dear friends. For those whose sufferings we do not know about, may they also know your power to heal. Lord, in your mercy…

The Israeli army carried out an undercover raid in the occupied city of Jenin last week. Israeli soldiers shot and killed four Palestinians, Yousef Shriem ,29, Nidal Khazem, 28, Omar Awadin, 14 and Luay Zghayyar, 37. This raid comes after three Palestinians were shot and killed in Jenin just last week.

•    Lord, we pray for the family and friends of Yousef, Nidal, Omar and Luay as they grieve their loss. We pray also for the Palestinians recovering in hospital suffering from serious gunshot wounds. We pray for an end to these deadly Israeli army raids which bring further unrest and terror to occupied Palestinian cities. Lord, in your mercy..

During this Lenten season Palestinian Christians are devoting themselves to times of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. While this week Palestinian Muslims will mark the beginning of  Ramadan by fasting from sunrise to sunset, taking part in charitable acts and meeting up with family members.

•    Lord, we pray that during this season we will draw aside in worship and prayer. As we bring our prayers for our families and neighbours to you, help us to remember to pray faithfully for our Palestinian brothers and sisters. May we stand with them as they cling to the word of hope, which helps them resist the dispossession and injustice they suffer under occupation. Lord, in your mercy..

Last week a number of settlers attacked a Palestinian family living in a tent near the village of Deir Jarir, east of Ramallah. The Israelis from a nearby settlement beat Sadek Farakhneh and his family members and raided his barn, stealing his donkey and thirty sheep. After the settler attack Israeli soldiers raided his tent and assaulted him. He has been offered emergency help from the Wall and Settlement Resistance Commission

•    Lord, we are deeply shocked by these pitiless assaults on Palestinian subsistence farmers, like Sadek. We pray that international organisations and governments will challenge the Israeli government for the way they grant impunity to the Israeli assailants. Lord, in your mercy…

On Friday, the 10th of March, Israeli soldiers detained a young boy from Hebron on the charge of throwing stones. Abdul Shakeen from the Tal Rumeida neighbourhood was arrested, taken to a military post, beaten, verbally abused and released some hours later.

•    Lord Jesus, we pray for the Palestinian children who are arrested, assaulted, abused and imprisoned by the Israeli army. We pray that the Israeli government will be held to account by the international community to respect the human rights of Palestinian children and to abide by international law in how they treat them. Lord, in your mercy..

Five hundred Gazan school pupils gathered together in the Khan Younis neighbourhood to fly Japanese-inspired kites to mark seventy years of partnership between Japan and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East. During 2023 the partnership will be celebrated with events based on a shared theme of ‘tsumugu’ (meaning ‘connect, spin, weave’).

•    Lord, we give thanks as the Gazan students continue to reach out to the people of Japan, just as they did in the 2011 East Japan Earthquake. We also thank you for the steadfast and generous help for UNRWA, provided by the Japanese people over the past seventy years. Lord, in your mercy..

•    We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Lord, in your mercy…

March 16th 

Next week Kumi Now will focus on the water scarcity in the West Bank, as we remember World Water Day on Wednesday, the 22nd of March. Palestine is generally rich in water resources, but those water resources are being exploited by Israeli interests while being denied to the Palestinians on the land. 

  • Lord, we pray for an end to the Israeli obstruction to the access and use of Palestinian natural resources and especially their water resources.
    Lord in your mercy..

For the past ten weeks large protests have been taking place across Israel against the judicial reforms proposed by the new right-wing Israeli government. The protestors are focused on the government plans to politicise the judiciary. However there are few Israeli voices raised in protest against the escalating violence that is being unleashed by the Israeli authorities and the illegal settlers against the Palestinians. Last week hundreds of Israeli settlers torched Palestinian homes in four occupied villages.

  • Compassionate and merciful Lord, we cry out to you as we see Israeli forces and settlers attacking Palestinians in the occupied territories with apparent immunity. We pray for an end to the occupation and the cycle of violence and turmoil.
    Lord, in your mercy..

International runners from more than ninety different countries joined Palestinian runners for the Ninth International Palestinian Marathon held in Bethlehem on Friday, the 10th of March. The Palestinian Olympic Committee sponsored the event to raise greater awareness about the circumstances of the Palestinians. Competitors aiming to run the full marathon have to complete the 11km stretch four times over to avoid having to pass through Israeli checkpoints.

  • Lord, we give thanks that runners from so many different countries participated in this year’s Palestinian Marathon. We pray that they will have been impacted as they followed the track along the separation wall, through crowded refugee camps and surrounded by hilltops covered with illegal settler housing units.
    Lord, in your mercy..

Last week the Palestinian Ministry for Education made an appeal to international human rights and humanitarian organisations to defend the rights of Palestinian children to an education. The Jibb al-Deeb School in the Bethlehem area, which serves forty primary school pupils, is once again under threat of destruction. It was demolished and rebuilt in 2017.

  • Lord, we bring these young Bethlehemite children and their families before you as they wait to see if their school is going to be demolished. We pray that international organisations will challenge the Israeli government’s plan to raze the school.
    Lord, in your mercy..

A report entitled, ‘Can’t even be a widow’ has just been published by Euro-Med Monitor. It is based on interviews with family members of missing Palestinian migrants and asylum seekers who have attempted to leave the Gaza Strip. Some grieving relatives have been contacted by gangs claiming to have information about the missing persons and demanding large sums of money to release it.

  • Lord, the pitiless blockade of Gaza over the past seventeen years has led many Palestinians to risk their lives by trying to escape. We pray for an end to the Israeli blockade which is condemning Palestinians to poverty, unemployment and despair.
    Lord, in your mercy..

Pope Francis welcomed participants from the Palestinian Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue to the Vatican last week. The delegation focused their discussions on the spiritual significance of Jerusalem. The Pope expressed his hope that the city would remain a place of encounter and a symbol of peaceful co-existence for the followers of the three monotheistic faiths.

  • Lord Jesus, we remember how you wept over Jerusalem. We echo the prayer of Pope Francis,‘How many men and women, Jews, Christians, and Muslims, have wept and in our day continue to weep for Jerusalem. At times, we too are moved to tears when we think of the Holy City, for she is like a mother whose heart cannot be at peace due to the sufferings of her children.’
    Lord, in your mercy…
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden.
    Lord, in your mercy..

9th of March 2023

Next Tuesday Kumi Now will consider how peace building opportunities are opening up to Palestinian and Israeli women in spite of the occupation. We have just celebrated International Women’s Day and we think of the women activists involved in the nonviolent campaign of resistance against the Israeli occupation.

•    Lord, we thank you for the courage and commitment of the Palestinian and Israeli women working to bring about peaceful and lasting change to their country now ravaged by violence. Lord, in your mercy …

On Wednesday, the1st of March,Israel’s Finance Minister, Smotrich said that the Palestinian village of Huwara near Nablus in the occupied West Bank should be ‘wiped out’ and that the State of Israel should be the one to do so. This remark followed riots by Israeli settlers in the area which left one Palestinian shot dead, many others injured and property destroyed, in response to an earlier attack that killed two Israeli settlers.

•    Lord, we pray for the families of those killed or injured recently in Huwara. We pray that calm and order may be restored by the Israeli authorities and that all the perpetrators of the violence may be held to account for their actions. Lord, in your mercy..

Two sisters and their brother, aged 3,4 and 8 respectively, were fatally injured last Thursday morning when they were hit by a car in the Shuafat Refugee Camp in East Jerusalem. Paramedics reported that they had been hit by a car as they were walking to school. Doctors were unable to save their lives.

•    Merciful Lord, we bring the family and friends of these three young children from Shuafat Camp before you. We pray for support and comfort for them as they mourn their devastating loss. Lord, in your mercy..

The Popular Palestinian Conference was forced to issue a press release and abandon their television press conference in Ramallah last week. The Wattan TV offices were shut down by security officers from the Palestinian Authority. The conference was going to broadcast the text of a document signed by one hundred and fifty prominent Palestinians. They are challenging the Palestinian Authority’s decision to withdraw a plan to propose a UN resolution objecting to recent Israeli violations.

•    Lord we pray that the Palestinian Authority will respect the right of other Palestinians to express their views without fear of censorship. Lord. In your mercy…

Last week Israel’s National Security Minister, Ben-Gvir and Smotrich, the Finance Minister and Minister in charge of civilian affairs in the West Bank announced their decision to seize the bank accounts of 87 freed prisoners living in East Jerusalem. Since then two freed prisoners from Jerusalem, Mohammad Dirbas and Ayoub Afanah have had the funds in their bank accounts confiscated. While  the parents of Bashar al Obaidi, a prisoner from East Jerusalem have undergone punishment by the Israeli authorities. His mother was arrested and interrogated, while his father’s car was seized and confiscated.

•    Merciful and compassionate Lord, we cry out to you as we see the Israeli authorities loading heavier and heavier punitive measures on the backs of Palestinians. Lord, in your mercy..

Recently the Chelsea Community Hospital School at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital took part in a collaborative art project with school children from Gaza.

Plates decorated by the Palestinian children were put on display at the hospital. However the display was removed after the hospital received a complaint from the UK Lawyers for Israel which stated that the display made Jewish patients feel ‘vulnerable, harassed and victimised’.

•    Lord we are saddened that a small art display in a London hospital reflecting the harsh realities of life in Gaza was removed. We pray for the children of Gaza who have only known terror, bombardment, poverty and deprivation for the past fifteen years under Israeli siege. Lord, in your mercy…

•    We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Ireland and the United Kingdom: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Lord, in your mercy..

2.3.23

Next Tuesday Kumi Now will consider how peace building opportunities are opening up to Palestinian and Israeli women in spite of the occupation. We will be celebrating International Women’s Day on Wednesday, the 8th of March, and thinking of the many women activists involved in the nonviolent campaign of resistance against the Israeli occupation.

  • Lord, we thank you for the courage and commitment of the Palestinian and Israeli women working to bring about peaceful and lasting change to their country now ravaged by violence. Lord, in your mercy …

The Israeli government has just granted Cabinet-level authority over illegal settlement policies to Smotrich, the Finance Minister. More than seven thousand settler housing units have  been approved. The E1 plan is also going to be revived, which would effectively bisect the West Bank by allowing settler development in a strategic area of occupied East Jerusalem.

  • Merciful Lord, we pray that international governments and organisations will hold the Israeli government to account for its disregard of international law over its policy of rapid settlement expansion in occupied territory.
    Lord in your mercy..

The well-known Dublin-based Bohemian Football Club has just released a new football kit  promoting the Palestinian cause. A club representative, Daniel Lambert stated: 

‘This 2023 shirt is aiming to assist children in Palestine who face unimaginable challenges and human rights’ violations each and everyday’. A percentage of  the profit from the sale of the shirts will go towards sports equipment and help in sports participation for children in the Tulkarm Refugee Camp in the occupied West Bank.

  • Lord, we give thanks for this new initiative from the Irish football club to contribute funds to give Palestinian refugees the opportunity to improve their health and skills through participation in sport.
    Lord in your mercy..

Shopkeepers in the Old City of Hebron usually shut their premises at 2pm to avoid attacks from illegal settlers living in the nearby Beit Romano settlement. B’tselem have just issued a full report on the price paid by two Palestinian shopkeepers who tried to keep their shops open until the usual closing time of 5pm. Soldiers ordered them to close their shops on the pretext that Palestinian children were throwing stones at the settlement. They threw stun grenades outside and inside the antique shop, damaging goods. They threatened them with arrest and pointed their guns at them. They have returned with the same threats on several other occasions.

  • Lord, we pray for the Palestinian shopkeepers of Hebron trying to earn a livelihood in the face of attacks from Israeli settlers and soldiers. So many have despaired of earning a living under pressure of such relentless harassment and have left. Some have no other option but to remain and face the violence and abuse each day.
    Lord, in your mercy..

The International Jewish Collective for Justice in Palestine is made up of Jewish groups and individuals who live in fifteen different countries. Members of this group have welcomed the Mayor of Barcelona’s decision ‘to cut ties with Israel until everyone in Israel/Palestine fully enjoys their rights, safety and self-determination.’

  • Righteous Lord, we give thanks when public figures like Mayor Colau take a stand to affirm universal human rights. We pray that other politicians will call out Israel over its policies of human rights abuses against Palestinians.
    Lord, in your mercy..

Large numbers of soldiers entered the busy city of Nablus early last Wednesday morning in a raid targeting two Palestinian fighters, who allegedly shot an Israeli soldier last October. Residents of Nablus were terrorised as the Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition indiscriminately and used teargas with pepper spray on crowds in the streets. The army used rocket propelled grenades and armed drones to kill the Palestinian fighters, while nine other Palestinians were killed and eighty other bystanders were injured.

  • Lord, we pray for an end to these deadly Israeli army raids in the occupied West Bank. Just in the first two months of this year so many Palestinians have been shot dead and seriously wounded. We continue to pray for an end to this bloodshed.
    Lord, in your mercy..
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands.
    Lord in your mercy..

 23rd of February 2023

Next Tuesday Kumi Now will consider how Palestinians are impacted by the restrictions imposed on their freedom of movement by the Israeli authorities. More than 70,000 Palestinians face the dehumanising experience of being processed every day at the 500 permanent checkpoints and countless ‘flying’ checkpoints set up to control their journeys to school, hospital or work.

  •   Merciful Lord, we pray for the Palestinian people caged in their own land by military checkpoints, separation walls, travel permits. We pray for a dismantling of this inhumane system of oppression and degradation. Lord, in your mercy..

Last week, Issa Amro , the Palestinian activist and founder of Youth Against Settlements, was assaulted by an Israeli soldier as he was conducting a tour of his home city of Hebron.

Lawrence Wright, a journalist for the weekly New Yorker magazine, filmed the incident.      It showed an Israeli soldier grabbing Amro by the neck and throwing him to the ground and kicking him, before another soldier pulled him away.

  •  Lord, we bring to you the Palestinian people trying to survive in the city of Hebron as they face increasing levels of violence and abuse from Israeli soldiers and  illegal Israeli settlers, now living in the Old City and in nearby settlements. Lord, in your mercy…

The Jerusalem Union of Christian Scouts undertook three days of events to raise funds for Syrian families who have been caught up in the recent devastating earthquakes. They managed to raise over 60,000 dollars.

  •  Lord, we give thanks for the outpouring of compassion and sacrificial giving from the Palestinian people to help those who have been affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Lord, in your mercy…

The Continental Synodal Assembly for the Middle East gathered in Beirut last week. Delegates representing seven Catholic Churches, (Coptic, Syriac, Maronite, Melkite, Chaldean, Armenian and Latin) from the Holy Land, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Armenia came together to consider how to work with each other to address the many challenges they face in the region. Sawsan Bitar, the programme co-ordinator of Sabeel was one of the delegates from the Holy Land.

  •  Lord Jesus, we pray that the Beirut Assembly inspired the delegates to commit to working together for the Christian community in the Middle East and to delight in the rich diversity of their traditions, bound together in their shared faith. Lord, in your mercy…

On Wednesday, the 15th of February, the Knesset approved legislation that states that Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem sentenced to prison on offences that breach ‘trust to the State of Israel’ can have their citizenship or residency revoked and be deported to the occupied West Bank or to Gaza. The new law is discriminatory as it only applies to Palestinian citizens of Israel and permanent residents of East Jerusalem; it does not apply to Israeli Jews.

  •  Merciful Lord, we cry out to you as we see the fundamental human rights of the Palestinian people being stripped away by the new Israeli government. We pray that international governments and organisations will speak up and challenge these further breaches of international and humanitarian law. Lord, in your mercy..

Last week Hassan Muheisin had to destroy a build extension on his home with his own hands, after a court appeal failed. The Jerusalem Municipality claimed he had built onto his home without a building permit and was going to charge him excessive costs for demolishing his extension. While building permits are extremely difficult to obtain to Palestinians, the Jerusalem Municipality grants permits for thousands of housing units to be built for the illegal Israeli settlers.

  •  Lord, we pray for the Palestinians living In East Jerusalem as they face an uncertain future with so many home demolitions and discrimination against them in employment and services, as well as the threat of forcible transfer to the occupied West Bank. Lord, in your mercy..

More than seventy UK Members of Parliament and the House of Lords, representing different political parties, have just written to the Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, to condemn Israel’s plans to forcibly evict Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills. More than one thousand Palestinians living in the Masafer Yatta area are at imminent risk of being forcibly displaced from their homes.

  •  Lord, we pray that the UK government will listen to the call of  parliamentarians to hold the Israeli government to account for its plans to forcibly transfer the people of Masafer Yatta, which will be a grave breach of international law. Lord, in your mercy..
  • We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of France, Germany and Monaco. Lord, in your mercy…

16th of February 2023

Next week’s Kumi Now will consider the issues of Israeli illegal settlements and settler violence. According to B’Tselem more than two hundred settlements were established between 1967 and 2017 on land annexed from the occupied West Bank. These settlements depend on water and resources stolen from Palestinian villages. The settlers now living there routinely harass and assault Palestinian villagers and destroy their crops and property. This activity takes place under the protection of Israeli soldiers and without fear of prosecution by the Israeli authorities.

•    Merciful Lord, we cry out to you as we hear the Israeli government speak of a further expansion of illegal settlement building on Palestinian land in the West Bank. Can Israel continue to breach international law with impunity? Lord, in your mercy..

A car ramming incident took place in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Ramot on Friday, the 10th of February. A six-year-old child, Yaakov Pelli and his brother eight-year-old Asher along with twenty-year-old Alter Liderman, were killed and several other people were seriously injured while waiting at a bus stop when a car drove into them. The driver, Hussein Qaraqe, a 31-year-old Palestinian, was shot dead at the scene by an off-duty Israeli police officer. Qaraqe had just been released from a psychiatric ward after receiving treatment following an injury he had received on a construction site six months previously. After the incident a large number of Israeli police raided Qaraqe’s home in Isawiyah and arrested members of his family.

•    Lord, we pray for the relatives of the Israelis injured and killed in this recent incident. We pray for the relatives of Qaraqe who are now being punished for his crime. We pray for wisdom and restraint for all those in positions of authority in Palestine/Israel that they will act to calm the tensions between the communities and guide them in the way of peace. Lord, in your mercy..

Tens of thousands of people have died and been injured in Turkey and Syria following the devastating earthquake in Southern Turkey on Monday, the 6th of February. The full scale of the damage and the number of victims is still being investigated. Efforts to bring aid to north-western Syria are being hampered by ongoing warfare in the region.

•    May we join with the prayers requested by a church leader in Hatay, Turkey, (Open Doors 9.2.23), ‘Please pray for the people who have lost their loved ones and are in sorrow and despair, that God would comfort them. Please pray for the people who are helping and serving. And please pray that ways would be opened soon, so we can bring more help to the area.’ Lord, in your mercy..

The Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, has severed her city’s official ties with Israel, charging the country with ’the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people’. In a letter to the Israeli Prime Minister, she cited a number of Israeli policies in her charge, including the military occupation of the West Bank, the annexation of East Jerusalem and the construction of illegal settlements on Palestinian land.

•    Lord, we are thankful for the voices of protest over Israel’s violation of the human rights of Palestinians being raised around the world. Lord, in your mercy..

National Security Minister Ben Gvir has accused police in Jerusalem of, ‘losing control of the city to a group of anarchists’, after they held back from using force to disperse anti-government protestors last Thursday night. The Police Commissioner gave public support to the way the protest was handled, as tensions rise between the minister and the police authorities. For the past five weeks thousands of Israelis have been demonstrating across the country against the controversial legal reforms planned by the right-wing government to weaken the judiciary.

•    God of justice, we continue to pray for all people who face injustice, especially these days, for the situation inside Israel, in particular the Palestinian minority in Israel and the Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank. We pray that freedom of speech and the right to protest for all people is protected and upheld.  May your spirit Lord continue to give courage to the people not to be silent and echo your words “For he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Proverbs 2:8 , Lord, in your mercy..

Naseem Alatrash, a  Palestinian cellist, was nominated for a Grammy Award in the recent ceremony in Los Angeles. He has been recognised for his work on ‘Crisalida’ a Latin Jazz album by Danilo Perez and the Global Messengers. He gives soloist concerts around the world and works as a professor at the Berkelee College of Music in Boston. Naseem was born in Beit Sahour and began studying the cello at the age of 12 years at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music.

•    Lord, we praise you for the musical talent of Naseem Alatrash and for the way he is receiving international recognition for his gifts. Lord, in your mercy..

•    We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Lord, in your mercy…

                                                                   

 9th of February 2023

Next Tuesday, Kumi Now will focus on the ways in which the Israeli government denies Palestinians their human rights and fundamental freedoms. We will remember the World Day of Social Justice on February 20th and consider the UN statement that ‘social development and social justice are indispensable for the achievement and maintenance of peace and security within and among nations’. We will consider how peace can be achieved for Israelis and for Palestinians living under occupation.

•    Lord, we pray for an end to the Israeli occupation with the restrictions on the human rights of Palestinians. We pray for the Palestinians who suffer citizenship denial and discrimination and are severely restricted in where they can travel, where they can work or live and even who they can marry. Lord, in your mercy..

The Church of England has imposed a twelve year ban on the Rev. Dr Stephen Sizer from fulfilling any priestly role. Dr Sizer has spoken out against Zionist policies used by the Israeli government against Palestinians. A case was brought against him by the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, accusing him of antisemitism. He was acquitted of all the charges in the case except one, for which he had already issued an apology to the Jewish community.

•    Lord, we pray for Stephen Sizer as he comes to terms with the formal ban on his priestly role. We are thankful for his long witness to the injustices suffered by Palestinians living in Israel. Lord, in your mercy..

An American Jewish tourist was arrested for pulling over a large statue of Jesus in the Church of the Flagellation, along the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem on Thursday, the 2nd of February. This incident took place amid high tension in the city and region following a week of violence.

•    Lord, we pray that the Israeli police will hold to account all those who commit acts of violence and vandalism at the holy sites in Palestine/Israel. Lord, in your mercy…

B’Tselem has documented 48 incidents of settler violence against Palestinian farmers and their properties during the last olive harvest in the West Bank which took place from September to November 2022. The attacks were carried out with full state support and sometimes Israeli soldiers also took part in them. Many farmers were left without an expected income or even enough olive oil for their own domestic use.

•    Lord, we bring Palestinian farmers before you as they try to look after their olive groves and support their families. We pray for an end to the violence from illegal settlers which is threatening the livelihoods of the farmers. Lord, in your mercy…

Israeli prison authorities assaulted Palestinian women prisoners in Damon jail on Tuesday, the 31st of January. Ben-Gvir, Minister of National Security, has enforced new measures in Naqab and Damon jails by imposing more raids and punitive measures, as well as solitary confinement for a week on more than one hundred prisoners.

•    Lord, we pray for the Palestinian prisoners currently enduring harsh conditions in Israeli jails. We remember especially the 34 Palestinian women and 150 Palestinian children in prison and pray for the 835 Palestinians living under administrative detention. Lord in your mercy…

Khan al Ahmar, on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem, is under threat of imminent demolition by the Israeli authorities. It is located between two major illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and the Israeli government plans to expand those settlements and link them with the Jordan Valley. Over two hundred residents of Khan al Ahmar are determined to stay in their village despite constant harassment and surveillance and demolition threats from the Israeli authorities.

•    Lord, we pray that international governments and organisations will challenge the Israeli government over its plans to break international law by forcibly transferring the villagers of Khan al Ahmar. Lord, in your mercy…

•    We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Andorra, Italy, Malta, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Vatican City. Lord, in your mercy..

2nd of February 2023

Next Tuesday Kumi Now will consider how the Israeli blockade of Gaza impacts those who need to travel within the Palestinian territory for medical treatment. Many patients are unable to attend medical appointments for chronic illnesses as they are denied permits by the Israeli authorities.

  • Merciful Lord, we pray for those suffering serious illnesses in Gaza, especially those who are denied travel permits. We pray for an end to the sixteen-year-old blockade of Gaza. Lord, in your mercy…

The US government has raised concerns over the recent escalation in violence used by Israeli forces. Ten Palestinians were killed during the Israeli raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the early hours of Thursday morning. This was the deadliest attack by the Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territory for decades. Several rockets were fired into southern Israel from Gaza in response to the Jenin raid. Israel then hit back with three ground strikes in Gaza.

  •  Lord, we pray for the international efforts to mediate between Israel and the Palestinians to de-escalate the levels of violence. We pray for an end to the relentless Israeli army attacks on Palestinian communities, leading to so many deaths and injuries. Lord, in your mercy..

This week the Forum of Palestinian Journalists, based in Gaza, has criticised the dismissal of the cartoonist, Mohammad Sabaaneh. They stated that his dismissal ‘reflects the Palestinian Authority’s strange insistence on suppressing freedom of opinion and expression’. Sabaaneh’s recent cartoon was critical of the Palestinian Authority’s apparent lack of response to the heightened level of Israeli violence.

  •  Lord, we give thanks for the courage of people working in the media who use their freedom of expression to speak truth to power, even at great personal cost. Lord, in your mercy..

The Israeli government has just issued new guidelines which will make it even more difficult for foreigners to study or work in the occupied West Bank. These restrictions will further isolate Palestinians living in the West Bank from foreigners and from their own family members who do not hold West Bank ID.

  • Lord, we pray that international organisations will challenge the Israeli government over their attempts to further repress and isolate Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank. Lord, in your mercy..

On Thursday, the 26th of January, Israeli forces informed Palestinian landowners in Khallet Ad-Dabi, one of the nineteen hamlets making up Masafer Yatta in the South Hebron hills, that they are about to uproot their saplings. The Dababseh family had planted a hundred fruit trees on the old site of the local school, which had been demolished  by the Israeli army two years previously

  •  Lord, we cry out to you for the inhabitants of Masafer Yatta who have suffered years of violence from the Israeli forces. Their livestock and storage have been damaged, their wells filled in, their homes and schools demolished and yet they still show courage and resilience. We pray that international governments and organisations will continue to support them in their attempts to live peaceably on their land. Lord, in your mercy …

This month Ben Gvir, the National Security Minister, has ordered Israeli police to remove all Palestinian flags from public places. In response to this order an Israeli artist living in Tel Aviv drew himself in the colours of the Palestinian flag. Michael Rosanov then made his artwork into his Facebook profile picture and this has caught on with other disaffected Israelis. Last Saturday, 100,000 Israelis turned out in Tel Aviv to protest against the policies of the new right-wing Israeli government.

  •      Lord, we pray that  Israelis will have the courage to speak out in protest over any  government policies they believe may be used to oppress anyone, no matter their ethnicity.  Lord, in your mercy…

This week the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land spoke out in strong condemnation of Israeli settler attacks which have taken place in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem. In the most recent attack a large group of settlers entered the New Gate and started shouting and chanting while waving flags. They then started to throw around tables and chairs at local restaurants, terrorising tourists and shopkeepers.

  •   Lord, we pray that the authorities responsible for administering law and order in Jerusalem will prosecute any settlers who deliberately vandalise the city. We pray that believers of all faiths will continue to  have access to their holy sites and can visit their places of worship without fear of assault from radical groups. Lord, in your mercy…
  •  We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Western Sahara, Tunisia. Lord, in your mercy…

26.1.23

Next Tuesday Kumi Now will consider the discrimination faced by Palestinian citizens living in Israel where they make up over 20% of the whole population. Almost every aspect of their daily lives is affected by discrimination and over half of all Arab families in Israel are living below the poverty line.

 •              Lord, we seek your guidance and presence as we continue to give witness to the discrimination suffered by Palestinians living in Israel. Lord, in your mercy..

This week Palestinians disrupted the plans of the Israeli authorities to start demolishing their homes in Jabel Al-Mukkaber in East Jerusalem by pouring oil on the streets. The Israelis had to get their vehicles towed away from the area. They plan to demolish 800 Palestinian homes in the neighbourhood to make way for a commercial centre and 500 Israeli housing units. During the incident the Israeli authorities assaulted two local Palestinian men.

 •              Lord, we bring before you all Palestinian families facing the threat of home demolition. We pray for courage and resilience as so many continue to live with the threat of forcible eviction. Lord, in your mercy..

Sabeel Jerusalem has just hosted a group of students from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary based in the US state of Pennsylvania. The group of Presbyterian students were able to witness for themselves the restrictions imposed on Palestinians living under Israeli occupation and learned about Palestinian Liberation Theology.

 •              Lord, we thank you for the visit of the American seminarians to Sabeel. We pray that their visit will have impacted them deeply and that they will now go and tell their friends and family of the things they have witnessed. Lord, in your mercy…

The Israeli army shot two Palestinians during a heavy army raid in Jenin refugee camp in the early hours of Thursday, the19th of January. Jawad Bawaqneh, a 57-year-old father of six and local teacher, and Adham Jabareen, a young fighter in the Jenin Brigade were both shot and killed. A local journalist reported that Jawad was killed as he tried to bring Adham into his home to give him first aid treatment.

 •              Lord, we pray for the families of Jawad and Adham as they grieve their loss. We pray for an end to the Israeli army raids that are causing so many injuries and deaths in Palestinian communities. Lord, in your mercy..

On Wednesday, the 18th of January, the Orthodox Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, Nourhan Manougian arrived in Bethlehem’s Manger Square at the head of a long procession. The procession, which starts in the Armenian Patriarchate of the Old City in Jerusalem, marks the celebration of Christmas and Epiphany for Armenian Christians.

 •              Lord, we thank you that Orthodox and Armenian Christians have just been able to celebrate Christmas according to the Julian Calendar, while the Roman Catholics and other denominations celebrated Christmas on December 25th, following the Augustan Calendar. Lord, in your mercy..

This is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and we look to the Words of Prayer of the World Council of Churches as we think of ‘the tears of the oppressed’ .

On Monday 23rd January, Sabeel, in cooperation with the catechetical office of the Latin Patriarchate, Jerusalem held a worship service for 10 Christian schools and almost 200 students. The service was held in the Melkite Church Jerusalem.

 •              ‘God of justice and grace, remove the scales from our eyes, so we can truly see the oppression around us.’ (Day 4) Lord, we ask for courage to stand up and advocate for all who are silenced as they seek justice and suffer oppression.    May we especially remember the tears of the oppressed living in the Holy Land and be faithful in our prayers for them. Lord, in your mercy..

•              We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Cyprus, Greece and Turkey. Lord, in your mercy..

19.1.23

Kumi Now will focus on the city of Jerusalem on Tuesday, the 24th of January. The United Nations’ Partition Plan in 1947 resolved that the city of Jerusalem would be an internationally administered city. However the Israeli government has taken steps to gain full Israeli sovereignty over the city, especially since the 1967 annexation of East Jerusalem.

•    Lord Jesus, when you wept over Jerusalem you lamented that those living in the city could not recognise ‘the things that make for peace’. We pray for strength and guidance for all those who seek peace and righteousness in this suffering city. Lord, in your mercy…

On Thursday, the 12th of January, three Palestinians were shot and killed by Israeli soldiers. Habib Kamil ,25 years old, and Abdulhadi Nazal ,18 years old, were shot dead by live fire from Israeli troops during a raid in the town of Qabatiya, near Jenin. Earlier in the day an Israeli sniper shot Samir Aslan, a 41-year-old father of eight, when he was on the roof of his house with his family in Qalandiya refugee camp.

•    Lord, we pray for the families of Habib, Abdulhadi and Samir as they grieve their loss. We pray for an end to the relentless Israeli military raids on Palestinian communities, which are provoking violence and leading to numerous arrests, injuries and extrajudicial killings. Lord, in your mercy…

Last week the US Court of Appeal in Washington dismissed the allegations brought by the Jewish National Fund, (JNF) against the United States Campaign for Palestinian Rights, (USCPR). The JNF are seeking to prove that the USCPR are liable for militant attacks against Israelis and Americans because of their support for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and for the Great March of Return. The judge deemed the allegations were ‘insufficient’ and the attorney representing the USCPR stated that the lawsuit was an attempt to ‘smear human rights advocates as terrorists’.

•    Lord, our help and our shield, we ask for protection for advocates for human rights as they face so many obstacles and attempts to silence their pleas for justice. Lord, in your mercy…

A health clinic in Kiryat Malakhi in southern Israel refused to give first aid treatment to Hamoudi Tarboosh a 23-year-old Palestinian on Wednesday, the 11th of January. He had cut his hand on a broken glass door while at work in a local store. Even though he was losing a lot of blood from the wound, the manager of the nearby clinic refused him entry and he had to travel to a hospital in Ashkelon to receive treatment. Recently the Israeli Medical Association declared that Israeli doctors ‘will never discriminate in the care they provide’. This declaration was issued in the media after the new far-right National Missions Minister had earlier stated that Israeli doctors should be allowed to refuse to provide treatments that contravene their religious faith.

•    Lord, we pray that the ministers of the Israeli government will consider their pronouncements with care to avoid unleashing even stronger waves of racism and discrimination in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Lord, in your mercy…

Israeli authorities are preparing to carry out the collective eviction of eight of the 28 neighbourhoods in the Masafer Yatta area in the South Hebron Hills.

•    Lord we pray that international governments and organisations will challenge the Israeli government over their plans to forcibly evict the people of Masafer Yatta. Lord these communities have suffered so many violent attacks and home demolitions over recent years and long to be left to live peaceably on their land. Lord, in your mercy…

Late on Thursday, the 12th of January, extremists wrote racist slurs in Hebrew on the stone walls of the Armenian Church in occupied East Jerusalem. The High Presidencia Committee of the Palestinian Authority for the affairs of Churches reported that the graffiti threatened death to Arabs, Armenians and Christians. They also warned that the racist expressions of far-right Israeli government ministers are giving rise to an outbreak of ‘hate speech and ugly provocation’.

•    Lord, you warn us in your word that, ‘the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness’. We pray for wisdom to learn how to bridle our tongues. We pray for those in positions of authority that they will take care to avoid enflaming violence through their public declarations. Lord, in your mercy…

•    We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Lord, in your mercy..

Sabeel Wave of Prayer

12.1.23

Next Tuesday Kumi Now will consider Israel’s policy of denying building permits to Palestinians living in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. As a result Palestinians have to build homes and businesses that are under constant threat of demolition or confiscation.

 •    Lord, we pray that international organisations and governments will challenge Israel over its policy of denying building permits to Palestinians, dispossessing them and encouraging illegal Israeli settlers to take their land and resources. Lord in your mercy…

 Pope Francis paid tribute to his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday, the 5th of January, in a funeral attended by about fifty thousand mourners in St Peter’s Square.

Pope Emeritus Benedict had resigned from the papacy due to ill health in 2013. After the funeral he was buried in the crypt under St Peter’s Basilica.

 •    Lord, we give thanks for the life and devoted service of Pope Benedict XVI. We join with those who mourn his passing and say together, ‘Father, into your hands we commend his spirit.’ Lord, in your mercy…

 The United Nations’ Security Council held an emergency meeting on Thursday, the 5th of January, to discuss Ben-Gvir’s recent provocative walk around the Al Aqsa Compound, flanked by Israeli security guards. The UN stated that his first public act since taking office, ‘reflected a lack of commitment to existing historical and legal status of the holy sites in Jerusalem and could further destabilise the fragile situation in the occupied Palestinian Territories.’

  • Lord, we pray that the new Israeli government will take heed of the international condemnation of its first days in office. We pray that the government will not deliberately heighten tensions and spark violence through further provocative actions. Lord, in your mercy…

B’Tselem reported that the Israeli authorities have just given notice that a thousand residents of Masafer Yatta in the South Hebron Hills will soon receive orders of forcible eviction from their homes. Their land has been designated as ‘Firing Zone 918’ and is a closed military zone. B’Tselem has written to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in the Hague to protest that this forcible transfer of protected persons in occupied territory constitutes a war crime.

 •    Lord, we cry out to you for the residents of Masafer Yatta who face constant threats and ongoing violence from  the Israeli authorities. We pray for urgent intervention from international organisations to allow them to remain living peaceably on their land. Lord, in your mercy…

 The Israeli army shot Adam Ayyad, a 15-year old Palestinian teenager in the chest and killed him on Tuesday, the 3rd of January. The pre-dawn raid, involving dozens of armoured vehicles and many fully-armed Israeli soldiers led to confrontations with young Palestinians at Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem. Since the start of the year three Palestinians have already been killed as a result of the continuing campaign of intensified Israeli raids that have lasted almost a year.

 •    Lord, we pray for Adam’s family and friends as they now grieve over the loss of his young life. We pray for an end to the extrajudicial killings and the targeting of Palestinian children by Israeli forces. Lord in your mercy..

The vicar for migrants and asylum seekers in the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem,   Fr Nikodemus Schnakel, held a special early morning Christmas service for the Indian community in St Catherine’s Chapel at the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Although the community had to gather at 4:30am and worshipped in the dark, due to a power cut, there were no complaints as they were so happy to celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem.

 •    Lord Jesus, our good shepherd, lead us and guide us to welcome all who leave their homeland whether on pilgrimage or fleeing from persecution or poverty. We pray especially for the many migrants and asylum seekers who face so much fear and uncertainty in their lives. Lord, in your mercy..

 Security camera footage caught two young men wearing religious Jewish clothing desecrating more than thirty graves at the Protestant Cemetery on Mount Zion during the afternoon of Sunday, the 1st of January. This act of vandalism has shocked church leaders around the world and they have called on Israel to crack down on extremist Israeli groups.

 •    Lord, we pray for an end to the frequent attacks against the Arab Christian community and their property by extremist groups. We pray that the Israeli police will thoroughly investigate the vandalism at the Protestant Cemetery and hold to account those responsible for the criminal acts. Lord, in your mercy..

 •    We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the countries of Iran, Iraq and Syria. Lord, in your mercy…